Cattle producers have praised the decision to establish a pipeline for the import of live lumpy skin virus, which will provide CSIRO with everything it requires to research and validate effective vaccinations and diagnostics. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud stated that the importation would assist Australia in ensuring that the industry has the best possible vaccination protection for emergency use, as well as a well-developed national diagnostic ability for early diagnosis. He has requested a review of the proposed import process and compliance measures by the Inspector-General of Biosecurity.
“Lumpy skin disease is a devastating disease that affects cattle and water buffalo, and it has the potential to cause significant animal welfare and economic losses,” he said. It has never happened in Australia, but it is a growing threat as it spreads across Asia and is now in Australia. Markus Rathsmann, president of the Cattle Council of Australia, said the decision demonstrated that there was no time to waste. “Now that the virus has arrived in Indonesia, it poses a huge threat to our Australian beef industry,” he added, adding that the virus can be spread by biting insects carried by monsoonal winds. “It’s critical that we work toward developing an mRNA vaccine since it avoids the risk of infection that standard vaccinations do.”
Authorities in the area are attempting to vaccinate approximately 83,000 livestock. “Animals who are in poor condition or weak are badly affectedto the point where they are unable to walk or feed.” It’s not an issue in a dairy situation in Singapore since the cattle can be supported, fed, and hydrated. However, if this happened in Australia, it would be considerably more difficult, because huge cattle holdings lack the ability to nurse individual animals.
“If this sickness spreads to Australia, it will shut down our most vital international markets.” “Our greatest hope of keeping it out is to assist our Indonesian neighbours in controlling their outbreak.” Not only will the creation of a new vaccine and diagnostic system benefit us, but it will also benefit cattle producers all over the world. “Importing live virus is our greatest option for preparing and protecting Australia, and we haven’t made this decision lightly. Only the live virus would be kept under rigorous confinement at our world-class Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.”