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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2012
22 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2012 The social and economic costs of an FMD outbreak in Australia would be devastating. ABARES recently provided a 2011 update on the estimated losses from an FMD outbreak in Australia; ranging from $AUD 7.1 billion for a small, three month outbreak to $AUD 16 billion for a large, 12-month outbreak. Major FMD outbreaks in Japan and South Korea in 2010-2011 incurred costs of approximately US $2.74 billion and US $2.7 billion respectively. In South Korea the outbreak resulted in the destruction of 25 per cent of the national swine and cattle herds. These losses occurred in countries with sophisticated biosecurity systems (like Australia), but without significant FMD sensitive export markets (unlike Australia), highlighting the scale of the ongoing FMD risk to Australia. As reported by Matthews, these efforts come after a period of relative underinvestment in EAD preparedness across Australia, causing the slow erosion of EAD preparedness resources (particularly closer to the field) and resulting in a number of longstanding FMD policy issues remaining unresolved. The Matthews Review identified 11 priority issues to focus national efforts: (www.daff. gov.au/animal-plant-health/pests-diseases- weeds/animal/fmd <http://www.daff.gov. au/animal-plant-health/pests-diseases- weeds/animal/fmd> ): 1. Foresight and intelligence gathering 2. Competent authority assessments of trading partners 3. Possible illegal importation of animal products 4. The effectiveness of swill-feeding prohibitions 5. Australia's national capacity for a large- scale FMD response 6. Sheep traceability 7. Policy on FMD vaccination 8. Challenges of carcass disposal 9. Early detection of FMD 10. National FMD planning and decision- making processes 11. Community recovery In the first six months of this year, significant momentum has been attained across these priority issues through a number of mechanisms that have brought DAFF, states and territories, Animal Health Australia and industry groups together under an FMD National Action Plan. Sheepmeat Council has been actively engaged in discussion on a number of these recommendations. 1) Revised policy to reflect vaccination use. Australia's response policy for FMD is for containment and eradication as rapidly as possible to minimise the impacts. Vaccination may be considered if the disease spreads beyond the limit of available resources to contain it, to protect large animal concentrations and to limit infection and minimise virus excretion. FMD vaccines will protect animals against clinical disease. Although vaccination may not entirely prevent infection, effective vaccines reduce susceptibility to infection. Where infection does occur, vaccination reduces the amount of virus shed into the environment. These two factors mean that vaccination may be a valuable tool to assist with eradication of FMD in Australia under some circumstances. Sheepmeat Council will continue to be involved in discussions to develop guidelines for use during an outbreak. 2) Movement controls and quarantine for livestock and commodities during an outbreak. To contain and eradicate as rapidly as possible requires restricting the movement of animals and products which can transmit the disease until all tracing of infection has occurred. A national livestock standstill will impose total movement controls nationally over all species susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), as a result of the diagnosis of FMD or a strong suspicion of FMD. Industry and government collaboratively have developed movement requirements under permits which will be in place following the lifting of the National Livestock Standstill 3) Industry government working group on issues such as general surveillance, response resources benchmarking, carcass disposal, processor facilities during an outbreak, swill feeding. 4) Communication tools and activities to increase awareness and preparedness amongst the community. Sheepmeat Council along with other industry participants recognises the ongoing threat of FMD. Collaborative government and industry action and investment must be ongoing to ensure national FMD preparedness. SCA will continue to be involved in this work, including promoting the benefits of on farm biosecurity to containment of all sheep diseases. Foot-and-mouth Disease; Our greatest threat The high profle publication of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foresty’s (DAFF’s) Matthews Review in October 2011 has been the catalyst for the welcome re-focussing of efforts across government and industry to improve Australia’s Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) preparedness, with work targeting our greatest EAD threat, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).