The Australian Biosecurity and Biosecurity Queensland agencies, as well as other industry stakeholders are working to maintain Australia’s strong biosecurity system and protect against emergency animal diseases such as lumpy skin disease (LSD) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
LSD and FMD are not present in Australia and if introduced, pose a significant impact on production, businesses, food availability and international trade.
FMD is not the same as hand, foot and mouth disease, which commonly affects children.
What is being done to prevent and prepare for emerging animal diseases?
The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry continues to conduct routine surveillance and testing on high-risk products, including meat and other animal products, as they are imported into Australia.
Biosecurity Queensland encourages people to be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout for LSD and FMD:
LOOK for and know the signs of LSD (cattle and buffalo) and FMD (cloven-hoofed animals)
REPORT suspected cases to your veterinarian and the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 immediately.
PROTECT your livestock and livelihood by:
- having a biosecurity management plan in place
- ensuring your biosecurity entity registration details are up to date
- displaying biosecurity signage on your property
- using the Farm Check-In app when people visit your property.
Are there implications for food safety?
Many animal diseases do not impact food safety or human health.
Australia is free of LSD and FMD and has strict biosecurity measures in place to keep it free of these and other animal diseases.
LSD and FMD do not pose a food safety concern.
Human infections of FMD have been reported following the handling of diseased animals by people with wounds on their skin. Infections are very rare and mild and not a public health concern.
Humans cannot get these diseases from consuming commercially produced products from:
- meat from cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, or
- milk or dairy products from cattle (and other milk producing animals).
If Australia ever had an outbreak of one of these diseases, meat products from affected farms would not be commercially available as all animals must first pass an inspection to ensure they are healthy.
Any retail or trade product recalls/withdrawal measures associated with one of these diseases undertaken in Australia are in no way related to human food safety risks. Such measures are for the purposes of livestock disease control only.
More information relating to animal diseases, human health and food safety is available from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
What resources are available?
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries new, online one-stop information portal for LSD and FMD preparedness is now available
Resources on this site include training, guidance documents, response plans, biosecurity, industry body and task force information.
- FMD fact sheet for Wild Game Accreditation Holders | Safe Food Production Queensland
- LSD and FMD | Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australian Government)
- LSD and FMD | Animal Health Australia
- FMD information for livestock owners guide | Business Queensland
- Foot and mouth disease webinar | Victorian Farmers Federation
- FMD and LSD | Meat and Livestock Australia
- How the red meat industry is responding to the threat of lumpy skin disease | Meat and Livestock Australia
- FMD webinar and Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness | Dairy Australia