Article by: Hari Yellina
Australia will acquire samples of lumpy skin disease so that scientists can create a vaccine to stop the sickness from spreading if it ever makes it to its shores. The CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness in Geelong will begin testing the virus, which may kill Australia’s red meat and dairy industries, according to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. “This is a significant move, and one I don’t take lightly,” Mr Littleproud added, “but such is the threat of lumpy skin that is now in Indonesia and can literally blow in.” Flies, ticks, and mosquitoes carry lumpy skin disease. It produces fever and nodules on the animals’ skin, as well as the possibility of death. Early in March, it was discovered in Indonesia.
“I fear that this lumpy skin virus will spread because it will be blown in,” Mr Litteproud said. At the time, it’s roughly 3,000 kilometres distant. Mr Littleproud stated that once the vaccine was produced, Australia will attempt to supply it to other nations such as Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Mark Schipp, Australia’s chief veterinarian, has backed proposals by the cow sector to import lumpy skin. Mr Schipp had just returned from Sumatra’s Riau province, where the sickness had been spreading. The CSIRO’s Geelong laboratory is geared to deal with infectious animal diseases, and it previously created the Hendra horse virus vaccine. Industry organisations recently chastised the agriculture minister for allocating insufficient funds to biosecurity, especially defending Australia from lumpy skin disease. Mr Littleproud, on the other hand, said a task force would be formed to manage the government’s $61 billion commitment to improving northern Australia’s frontline biosecurity. Chris Parker, the former chief executive of the Australian Pests and Veterinary Medicines Authority, will lead the task team.
Cattle are infected with a virus that causes lumpy skin disease. Ticks or blood-feeding insects, such as certain types of flies and mosquitoes, transmit the disease. It causes fever, skin nodules, and mortality in animals that have never been exposed to the virus before. Vaccinations and the culling of diseased animals are two approaches for control. Lumpy skin condition might result in substantial financial losses. Many African countries are infected with the disease. It moved from the Middle East to south-east Europe in 2012, hitting EU Member States (Greece and Bulgaria) as well as numerous other Balkan countries. Since then, the pandemic in south-east Europe has been brought to a standstill by a vaccine campaign.