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Cattle Disease in Indonesia Spark NSW Biosecurity Lift

Cattle Disease in Indonesia Spark NSW Biosecurity Lift


Cattle Disease in Indonesia Spark NSW Biosecurity Lift

Article by: Hari Yellina

The government of New South Wales has committed $164 million in financing to address escalating biosecurity risks that are threatening the agricultural sector. According to Indonesia’s Agricultural Minister Dugald Saunders, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD) have the industry on high alert. In addition, outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis have been reported in thirty properties and piggeries around the state (JEV). The money will be used to research vaccines, improve surveillance and testing capabilities, and better manage pests. It would strengthen the government’s ability to respond to threats, according to Mr. Saunders. “One of the most essential ways we can know if something comes in is to beef up surveillance. We can lock it down because we know where it goes very quickly “he says. 

“We can no longer rely on our geographic buffer to keep our core industries safe due to the outbreaks in Indonesia.” Currently, the only FMD and LSD vaccinations accessible are live vaccines imported into the country. Australia’s livestock exports to Japan, Korea, and China would be prohibited as a result. According to the minister, they are looking into the possibility of developing an mRNA vaccine for FMD and LSD that would allow animals to be immunised against the disease while maintaining trade. “We’re hoping for some big progress on mRNA technology by the end of the year,” he said. “Everything is now moving at a breakneck pace.”

The programmes, according to Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole, would help protect the agriculture industry. “Look at the last couple of years,” he added, “farmers have suffered droughts, fires, floods, COVID, and a mouse plague.” “We want to make sure that biosecurity isn’t the next big thing.” The spread of Japanese encephalitis in pigs has continued across the state, with 130 cases documented in 30 different locales. Richard Pool, a Forbes pig farmer, is currently dealing with a viral outbreak and has witnessed a “30-50 percent decline” in revenues. Despite the disease’s considerable financial impact on the business, he claims the government has provided only limited assistance.

“I don’t think many people realise the consequences, how the disease spreads, or how long it’s been here,” he said. “As a result, we don’t have a lot of support.” JEV makes it difficult for sows to conceive and reduces their growth weight. Mr. Saunders stated that the biosecurity cash would not be used to compensate farmers for their losses. He remarked, “I think on-farm support has been fantastic.” “However, it is not always about money. It’s all about stock management. Funding doesn’t solve everything; it’s the animals’ care and support that do.”