Working to limit disease spread

Meat & Livestock Australia managing director Jason Strong says MLA will co-ordinate on-the-ground support to help Indonesia’s emergency response to foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease. Photo by Supplied

The Australian livestock industry will work with Indonesian feedlots to help protect their facilities from disease incursions and subsequent trade disruption.

The Federal Government recently committed an initial $500,000 grant to Meat & Livestock Australia.

As part of this investment, MLA will be responsible for co-ordinating support from Australian industry for the Indonesian feedlot sector’s emergency response to foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.

MLA’s Jason Strong said while FMD had been a threat to the industry for more than 100 years, its recent detection in Bali reinforced how vigilant we needed to be.

“The risk of a potential disease entering Australia is always at the forefront of our industry priorities and that is why we have some of the strictest biosecurity protocols in the world, and well-rehearsed plans to deal with them,” Mr Strong said.

“Alongside stronger biosecurity measures at the border from the Federal Government, MLA will co-ordinate on-the-ground support to help our Indonesian counterparts to counteract this threat.

“This will be done through vaccination and livestock identification and traceability guidelines, as well as training and communication plans. In addition, we will support enhanced data collection and reporting systems within Indonesia.

“MLA will also develop appropriate tools, resources and strategies to empower and enable local commercial operators to understand and effectively manage disease challenges to their businesses.

“Indonesia has long been an important and major red meat and livestock trade partner for Australia. The country is Australia’s largest export market for live cattle and fifth largest for boxed beef.

“This comprehensive biosecurity support project will provide mutual benefits to all parts of the Indonesia-Australia value chain, including smaller livestock holdings in Indonesia.”

What Australian producers can do

Livestock producers are strongly encouraged to be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout.

Good biosecurity practices and early detection will be essential to reduce the potential impact of LSD or FMD, should either arrive in Australia.

Producers can help by:

  • Making sure you are aware of the symptoms of LSD and FMD.
  • If you suspect LSD or FMD in your livestock, immediately call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
  • Adhering to all traceability obligations, including ensuring all documentation is correctly completed.
  • Reviewing yourir on-farm biosecurity plan.