National Farmers' Federation

NFF backs hands-on action on lumpy skin disease

The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed pragmatic and proactive action by the Federal Government to protect Australia’s bovine industry from the serious risk of lumpy skin disease.

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle and water buffalo and has a serious impact on an animal’s quality of life and reproductive capability.

In 2021 the disease was confirmed in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia and in March 2022 it was officially reported by Indonesia on the island of Sumatra.

“LSD is on Australia’s doorstep and the kitchen sink needs to be thrown at protecting, most imminently, our northern cattle herd, which makes up the lion’s share of our $6.6 billion beef export industry,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.

“Taking appropriate steps to ensure the risks are assessed and the development of a vaccine for LSD can be progressed is the priority. We have every faith in the Chief Veterinary Officer and our world class Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in being able to safely manage this process with the objective to safeguard our beef and dairy sectors.”  

Lumpy skin disease is spread primarily by biting insects such as certain species of flies, mosquitoes and possibly ticks. The disease can also be spread by fomites through such things as contaminated equipment and in some cases directly from animal to animal. 

Ms Simson said the NFF and its members continued to consult closely with Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud; the Chief Veterinary Officer and industry to facilitate information sharing on this alarming issue. 

“As a nation we must continue to be vigilant and proactive in investment to reduce the impact of ongoing biosecurity threats, such as LSD. We need to view biosecurity and protecting our borders from incursions, in a similar vein to our defence expenditure. 

“We can’t afford to let our guard down. The result will be devastating to the status of Australia’s agriculture exports; productivity; farmers and regional communities.” 

As part of the NFF’s #TimeToThrive 2022 federal election priorities, the NFF is continuing its call for a commitment to a long-term, sustainable funding arrangement for biosecurity.  

Read more at www.TimetoThrive.com.au

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