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Indonesia Starts Vaccination Program for Cattle to Contain Lumpy Skin Disease

March 23, 2022, 05.45 PM – Australia’s chief vet is on his way to Indonesia as the country grapples with an outbreak of lumpy skin disease, ABC Australia reported.

The viral disease is carried by biting insects like mosquitoes and causes skin lesions, fever, loss of appetite, decreased milk production, and can lead to death in cattle and buffalo.

“I'll be meeting with officials to discuss our cooperation with Indonesia on the lumpy skin disease outbreak in Riau province,” Chief Veterinary Officer Mark Schipp said in his Twitter account on Wednesday, March 23.

Schipp said protecting Australia from the disease was vital.

Also readPandemic Will End When Vaccine Inequity Ends: WHO Chief

“An outbreak here would have serious trade impacts across the live animal trade, for exporters of dairy products, genetic materials, hides, and some meat products in addition to animal welfare issues and significant production losses,” he said.

Biggest threat in decades, vet says

Indonesia-based veterinarian Ross Ainsworth said it would be “catastrophic” if the disease reached northern Australia.

He said the outbreak in Indonesia was the “most serious threat to the Australian cattle herd” he had witnessed in decades.

“This is transmitted by biting insects, so the biosecurity measures that have been effective for many other diseases, for generations, just aren't able to protect us from this,” he told ABC Rural.

“We’ve had other viruses come down [to northern Australia] via insects on the monsoon, like blue tongue virus.

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“There just isn’t much you can do … and the fact that cattle in northern Australia aren’t able to be individually cared for, I think would put our mortality rates [for lumpy skin disease], particularly in calves, a great deal higher than elsewhere in the world — and that's what frightens me.”

Ainsworth said Australia’s cattle industry needed to quickly understand what was at stake and how the live export trade would be at “immediate risk” if the disease spread to Australia.

“Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has always been the most frightening disease we’ve been concerned about [getting] in Australia — and rightly so,” he said.

Source ABC

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