Foot And Mouth Disease
What is Foot and Mouth disease?
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly contagious animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, deer and pigs. Cloven-hoofed animals are those with a split toe.
FMD has been detected in countries close to Australia. It is vitally important to be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is continuing to monitor the evolving FMD situation in Indonesia and review our own preparedness plans in the event FMD reaches our shores. Australia has offered assistance to Indonesia to combat the outbreak. This is in addition to assistance already being provided to combat lumpy skin disease, which was recently detected in Sumatra.
FMD could enter Australia through meat, dairy products, contaminated soil, untreated hides, and on vehicles and equipment that have been in contact with infected animals. This includes contaminated material on clothing and footwear.
While there is no human health threat from the disease, if FMD enters Australia there will be severe consequences for animal health and the trade of Australian meat and livestock.
Biosecurity is a collective responsibility and requires layers of defence. In particular, farm gate biosecurity is increasingly critical to protecting livestock should FMD make it through the border.
Good farm biosecurity is a critical layer of defence – if FMD does get across the border it can still be stopped from reaching our livestock.
All Australian livestock owners should know how to protect their livestock and properties from the disease, and the signs and symptoms of FMD, how to report it.
To prepare and protect your animals:
- maintain strong biosecurity measures on your property, including keeping accurate records of visitors and livestock movements
- don’t allow people who have visited FMD infected areas within the last 7 days to visit your farm or handle your livestock
- ensure all footwear, clothing and equipment of anyone visiting your property is free of mud, animal manure and mucus
- don’t feed meat, animal products or imported dairy goods to livestock – this is actually an illegal practice throughout Australia as it can cause many illnesses in livestock animals.
For free farm biosecurity advice and resources visit farmbiosecurity.com.au
Reporting and symptoms
If animals show signs of FMD, you must report it immediately.
Call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, or your local veterinarian.
Keep an eye out for:
- drooling and excessive salivation
- reluctance to move
- blisters on the mouth, snout, tongue, lips or between and above the hooves. Blisters may be intact or rupture – exposing raw tissue and causing pain.
Keep up to date
The situation is rapidly changing. Keep up to date by visiting: agriculture.gov.au/footandmouthdisease
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