Foot and Mouth Disease

Indonesia is responding to widespread detections of both foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.

These diseases are exotic to Australia and an incursion of either virus into Australia would result in significant animal health and trade issues. Fortunately, they are not a public health risk.

Early detection is the key to controlling disease and minimising the impacts. Despite the distance between Indonesia and Victoria, all producers and veterinarians should be implementing on-farm biosecurity plans and monitoring their livestock for any unusual signs that might signal the presence of an emergency animal disease.

If you suspect foot and mouth disease or lumpy skin disease, immediately contact the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

What is foot and mouth disease (FMD)?

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly infectious viral infection of domestic and wild cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, camelids and buffalo. The virus does not infect horses.

Clinical signs of Foot and mouth disease include:

  • Cattle, pigs, sheep, buffalo, deer, camelids and goats may show fever, drooling and reluctance to move
  • Blisters on the mouth, snout, tongue, lips or between and above the hooves
  • Blisters may be intact or ruptured, exposing raw, painful tissue.

In Indonesia, cattle with FMD were initially thought to be suffering from bovine ephemeral fever.

Spread of the virus is usually by the movement of live animals or exposure to contaminated products such as feed, equipment, untreated hides or other materials.

Illegally imported food contaminated with FMD virus can infect animals. To minimise the risk of spreading diseases such as foot and mouth disease, feeding pigs food scraps containing meat products, also known as ‘swill’ feeding or feeding prohibited pig feed, is illegal in Australia.

Find out more about prohibited pig feed here

For more information on foot and mouth disease visit the following;

What is lumpy skin disease?

Lumpy skin disease is a viral disease of cattle and buffalo that can result in animal welfare issues and significant production losses.

Clinical signs of lumpy skin disease include:

  • Firm raised nodules up to 50mm in diameter on the skin around the head, neck, genitals and limbs
  • Scabs that can develop in the centre of the nodules and leave ‘large full skin thickness holes’ that are prone to infection when the scabs fall off
  • Watering eyes and increased salivation and discharge from the nose

Spread of the virus is usually by biting insects such as certain species of flies, mosquitoes and possibly ticks. Contaminated equipment and direct contact between animals has also been associated with the spread of disease.

Find out more about lumpy skin disease here.

Six Biosecurity Essentials

  1. Farm inputs
    Almost anything moved onto your property can be a potential source of pests and diseases for livestock and plants. Monitor animals or plant materials that enter the property, as well as sources of water, feed, bedding and fertiliser.
  2. Farm outputs
    Responsibility for biosecurity doesn’t end when plant products or animals leave the farm gate. The measures in place on your property support biosecurity in your region.
  3. People, vehicles and equipment
    If it can move, it can carry diseases, pests and weeds. For this reason, people, vehicles and equipment pose a high biosecurity risk and should be managed accordingly.
    Diseases, pests and weeds can enter a farm and be spread by equipment and vehicles, either directly or in plant material, soil or manure. It is important to maintain equipment hygiene and ensure all vehicles that visit your property are clean and well maintained.
  4. Production practices
    Good on-farm hygiene reduces the risk of spreading pests and diseases. Implement simple hygiene practices for feed and water, product packaging, storage facilities, livestock husbandry, waste materials and plant propagation activities.
  5. Ferals, pests & weeds
    Feral animals, plant pests and weeds are a widespread nuisance but can also cause harm to your business, so they need to be actively controlled.
  6. Train, plan & record
    Ensure that staff are well trained and that you have the ability to trace where animals or plants have come from and where they went. Keep accurate records of purchases, sales and movement of all products entering or leaving the property

Download these documents to help you protect your farm.

Farm Biosecurity Action Planner(PDF, 1017KB)

Dairy Biosecurity - Healthy Farms(PDF, 2MB)

AUSVETPLAN Disease Strategy - Foot and mouth disease(PDF, 1021KB)