Foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease
Last updated 26 July 2022
Australia currently has a disease-free status for foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, however all landholders need to play an active role in monitoring and reporting any suspect cases.
The risk of foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease
These emergency animal diseases have recently been reported in countries close to our international borders. This is a stark reminder of the risk that exotic diseases play and our shared role in protecting our agricultural industry.
Your support is essential to protect NSW’s clean reputation and ensure ongoing market access.
It is critical that:
- all livestock owners know what these diseases look like
- that you check your animals regularly
- that you report any suspect signs immediately to your local district vet (1300 295 299) or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on (1800 675 888).
Local Land Services staff are on the ground to help you protect your livestock and industry from these exotic diseases. Working with landholders to monitor and report emergency animal diseases is one of our key roles.
What do I need to do?
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and landholders need to actively monitor for these diseases and report any suspected cases.
Foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease are nationally notifiable diseases. This means an animal showing suspect signs of the disease must be reported to a Local Land Services District Veterinarian on 1300 795 299 or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
What should I look for?
Landholders need to actively monitor for signs of emergency animal diseases. The information below will help you identify and report suspect cases:
How can I protect my farm?
We strongly encourage you to use this threat as an opportunity to update your farm biosecurity plan.
A farm biosecurity plan will help you identify and prioritise what practices you need to implement to protect against diseases such as foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.
About foot and mouth disease
Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids (eg alpacas, llamas and camels), deer and pigs. Cloven-hoofed animals are those with a split toe. It does not affect horses.
The virus is carried by live animals and in meat and dairy products, as well as in soil, bones, untreated hides, vehicles and equipment used with these animals. It can also be carried on people’s clothing and footwear.
It can survive in frozen, chilled and freeze-dried foods including meat and dairy products.
Read more about foot and mouth disease (NSW DPI).
About lumpy skin disease
Lumpy skin disease is a highly infectious viral disease that affects all breeds of cattle and water buffalo. It does not affect other types of livestock or humans.
It is primarily spread by biting insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies and possibly ticks. It can also be spread through direct contact between animals via secretions and excretions.
Contaminated feed, water, vehicles and iatrogenic means (eg repeated use of needles on different animals) can all spread the disease. Lumpy skin disease may be shed in semen and may be present in milk of infected animals.
Read more about lumpy skin disease (NSW DPI).
Resources for landholders
Farm Biosecurity Action Planner (Animal Health Australia)
Foot and mouth disease factsheet (NSW DPI)
Lumpy skin disease (NSW DPI)
Swill feeding (Foot and mouth disease) (NSW DPI)
Productive Producer Podcast: Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease (Local Land Services)
We are currently organising workshops where our expert staff will be providing information and advice to help producers recognise the signs of foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, and provide advice on prevention. More information will be available on these events shortly.
Other Local Land Services events running presently will have information on foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease for you to take away. Look up current local events with information on these diseases.
Resources for private veterinarians
Emergency Animal Diseases Field Guide for Veterinarians (Animal Health Australia)
Lumpy skin disease (NSW DPI)
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