26 September 2023

Cattle disease sparks biosecurity talks

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Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Mark Schipp has made a visit to Indonesia to meet senior Government officials for a range of activities related to animal health and biosecurity.

Particularly interested in Indonesia’s outbreak of livestock lumpy skin disease on the island of Sumatra, Dr Schipp said it was a problem infection that was spreading throughout Asia.

“Strengthening our relationship and sharing knowledge is a vital way that we can better protect Australia from exotic pests and disease threats, and help one of our most valued neighbours to respond effectively,” Dr Schipp said.

“We already work closely with Indonesia on a range of animal health initiatives to combat global animal diseases of concern across the region.”

He said the Indonesian Government was working hard to address the lumpy skin disease outbreak through vaccination and other containment measures, with close support from Australia.

He said lumpy skin disease was a viral disease of cattle and water buffalo caused by insect bites, and while it resulted in relatively low mortality, it could lead to animal welfare issues and significant production losses.

He said lumpy skin disease was not present in Australia, but was spreading rapidly internationally.

“Protecting Australia is vital, as an outbreak here would have serious impacts across the live animal trade,” Dr Schipp said.

Dr Schipp also met officials from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services at the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We discussed animal health and regional interests, and building on our bilateral Agriculture Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding recently agreed between the Indonesian and Australian Governments,” he said.

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