National livestock standstill for foot-and-mouth disease

Page last updated: Monday, 21 November 2016 - 2:44pm

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Following diagnosis or strong suspicion of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), state and territory governments will implement a livestock standstill across Australia, including in unaffected regions. This means livestock susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease (cloven-hooved animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, buffalo, camels, alpaca, IIama and deer) may not be moved from the time the standstill is declared until the standstill ceases.

The livestock standstill will be in force initially for 72 hours in order to minimise the potential spread of the disease around Australia.

A standstill will reduce the spread and costs of foot-and-mouth disease

Detection of foot-and-mouth disease is likely to result in immediate closure of export markets for Australia’s livestock and livestock products.

Minimising the spread of the disease through a standstill will reduce the devastating economic and social consequences of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak to livestock producers, livestock and regional industries and Australia's economy.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious virus that spreads between animals by:

  • movement of infected animals
  • direct contact with an infected animal
  • air-borne particles from infected animals
  • movement of contaminated animal products (such as wool or manure), vehicles, equipment and people.

Ceasing all movement of livestock with cloven hooves will significantly reduce the spread of foot-and-mouth disease around the country and reduce the costs and time spent eradicating the disease.

A review of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom in 2001 estimated that they could have reduced the epidemic by 30-50% if they had imposed a national movement ban three days earlier.

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Contact information

Michael Paton
+61 (0)8 9368 3627