National Livestock Standstill for foot-and-mouth disease: cost - benefit analysis

Page last updated: Friday, 21 April 2023 - 10:25am

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A national livestock standstill (NLSS) is a critical strategy in responding to the diagnosis or suspicion of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Rapidly implementing movement controls gives the best chance of optimising response options across the country, by limiting the spread of a disease once it is detected.

A national livestock standstill (NLSS), involving each state and territory government implementing state/territory-wide movement controls for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) susceptible livestock, is the currently agreed national policy following the diagnosis or strong suspicion of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Refer to National livestock standstill for foot-and-mouth disease for further information on the NLSS.

The costs involved in implementing a NLSS has been discussed in several national fora including Exercise Odysseus and during Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) workshops.

During 2021 and 2022, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) commissioned work with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to undertake an analysis of the economic and epidemiological factors involved in a NLSS. The CSIRO report can be found here: Analysis of livestock movements and the benefits and costs of livestock standstills in Australia as part of the response to foot-and-mouth disease.

A NLSS remains a unified, simple mechanism which is easily understood, effective for disease control and remains the agreed national policy. State and territory authorities have the legal means to stop movements and are well prepared to enforce movement restrictions required for a livestock standstill.

NLSS movement controls are a critical strategy for first response to a detection of FMD and the plans for enacting these controls are regularly tested and refined. There are no plans to revisit this approach by the National Biosecurity Committee in the immediate term. Any longer-term consideration of this policy would require extensive consideration and consultation with all stakeholders.  In the event of a FMD incursion, technical decisions regarding the need or otherwise for a NLSS would be considered by the Consultative Committee for Emergency Anima Disease (CCEAD) which comprises all state and territory Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) as well as the Australian CVO, the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, and affected industry parties, with recommendations provided to the National Management Group for approval.

Contact information

Livestock Biosecurity