Information for livestock producers

Australia remains free of FMD. Good biosecurity practices and early detection will be essential to reduce the potential impact of FMD if it ever arrives in Australia.

To learn about the robust national plan in place for FMD, visit Animal Health Australia’s emergency response arrangements under ‘Disease-specific documents’: AUSVETPLAN

FMD is listed as a prohibited matter under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. It is an offence for any person to deal with FMD in NSW, including any such carrier. This includes any animal, animal product or other items that may reasonably be suspected of being a carrier of FMD. Penalties apply.

Everyone is required to take actions to prevent, eliminate or minimise risk of an outbreak. This includes a duty to notify authorities if this is suspected to have occurred. Failure to comply with these provisions may be an offence under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

What can you do?

1. Don’t feed swill to pigs

It is illegal to feed food waste containing meat or other mammalian by-products to pigs. This practice is known as swill feeding (swill is also known as prohibited pig feed) and is a high-risk pathway for FMD to enter Australia.

Don’t let feral pigs access your waste.

2. Review your on-farm biosecurity plan

All livestock owners should have a farm biosecurity plan in place on their property, including accurate records of livestock and product movement.

Resources:

While every farm’s biosecurity plan will be different, there are many strategies that can be implemented Australia-wide to protect against FMD:

  • Ensure any livestock coming onto your property have a Livestock Health Statement/Declaration or equivalent
  • Inspect introduced livestock for signs of ill health on arrival, and quarantine all new stock for at least seven days
  • Minimise the risk of livestock straying onto or away from your property
  • Record all reasonable/practical movements of people, vehicles and equipment entering your property – the farm gate should be the control point, so post signs at the entrance to inform visitors of biosecurity procedures
  • Where possible, install facilities to disinfect footwear and farm vehicles.

3. Recognise the signs

Livestock producers should be alert for signs of FMD in their animals:

  • Fever
  • Drooling
  • Limping or lameness and reluctance to move
  • Blisters or lesions around the mouth, snout, tongue, lips or on teats or between and above the hooves or feet

If animals are showing any signs that are consistent with FMD, this needs to be reported immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, NSW DPI or Local Land Services District Veterinarian.

A pig facing the4 camera is showing blistering on the snout caused by FMD
A close up of a goat's mouth with red blistering caused by FMD
A close up photo of a hoof with FMD

4. Meet your traceability obligations

These include:

  • Meeting requirements under the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) such as tagging an animal with an NLIS-accredited tag or device from their property (PIC) of birth
  • Recording each animal movement in the NLIS database
  • Completing eNVDs/NVDs so they’re clear, complete and correct

Using this information, the NLIS can provide a life history of an animal's movements and discern if contact with other livestock occurred.

For more information on livestock transactions and movements, visit the Integrity Systems Company website.

More information