Australia has handed over 500,000 doses of lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccines to Indonesia as part of the Australian Government’s work to fight exotic animal diseases before they reach their shores.
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The vaccines are part of 1 million doses the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is providing to assist Indonesia to control LSD.
The vaccines were given to the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture in Jakarta and supplement 435,000 LSD vaccines Australia delivered to Indonesia from March 2022.
Acting Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Beth Cookson said LSD and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) presented the most significant threats to Australia’s biosecurity in decades.
“Australia has been providing support to our nearest neighbours and close trading partners—like Indonesia—as they work to curb spread of these diseases,” Dr Cookson said.
“The work happening in Indonesia now is essential to reducing the impact of diseases throughout the region, including the risk of LSD or FMD entering Australia.
“Australia is free of both diseases. These vaccines not only assist Indonesia to manage the outbreak, but they also help reduce the risk of LSD entering Australia.
“We have a very close working relationship with Indonesia to provide support for their emergency animal disease control efforts and we will continue to have ongoing engagement with technical support and a range of other programs scheduled for the year.”
Dr Nuryani Zainuddin, Director of Animal Health, from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services said LSD had been confirmed in 15 provinces such as Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, Lampung, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta, and Central Kalimantan Province.
“The central government together with the local government worked together hand in hand to control the disease,” Dr Zainuddin said.
“Lumpy skin disease has wreaked havoc on our livestock industry, causing economic losses for our farmers. It is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads rapidly, and its impact on productivity of our cattle cannot be underestimated.
"Therefore, the donation of LSD vaccines from the Australian government will play a vital role in our efforts to control and eventually eradicate lumpy skin disease in Indonesia.
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the government of Australia for their generous donation of vaccines to aid us in our fight against lumpy skin disease. Through our unified efforts, we can pave the way for a resilient and prosperous livestock industry, ensuring food security and prosperity for our nation.”
Australia has never experienced an outbreak of LSD. LSD causes milk production losses and skin sores in cattle and water buffalo, and can be spread by mosquitoes, biting flies and ticks.
The disease is a major threat to Australia’s livestock industry, trade and their economy. ■
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