Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, camelids (camels, llamas and alpacas), bison, water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), deer, antelopes, gazelles, moose, impala, giraffe, wildebeest, eland and warthog. In addition, elephants are known to be susceptible.. FMD does not affect horses, or companion animals such as dogs and cats.
Clinical signs in cattle are:
In sheep and goats:
Clinical signs in pigs are:
The free Emergency Animal Diseases Field Guide for Veterinarians has further, detailed information about FMD and its clinical signs in cloven-hoofed animals.
FMD is a notifiable animal disease. 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.
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.
Personnel visiting properties may be required to complete personal decontamination and should resource themselves and their decontamination kit accordingly. This personal decontamination guide has information to guide veterinarians before, during and after a property visit.
It is important that the appropriate PPE is used and fitted correctly. This video from the Australian Veterinary Association has information on how to suit up.
A permit to allow the use of specific chemicals as disinfectants for treatment of equipment, fabric, and surfaces in case of an outbreak of FMD has been issued.
Laboratory testing is used to confirm or exclude a clinical suspicion of FMD. This FMD field investigations Primefact summarises information on the collection of samples from all ruminant species and pigs.
Phosphate buffered gelatin saline (PBGS) media required can be ordered free of charge from the DPI Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute. Orders can be placed by sending requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or completing the online order form.