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Foot-and-Mouth, Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreaks in Indonesia Spark $164 Million NSW Biosecurity Lift

June 10, 2022, 03.43 PM The New South Wales government has announced $164 million in funding to address growing biosecurity concerns that threaten the agricultural industry.

Outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD) in Indonesia have the industry on high alert, according to the state’s Agricultural Minister Dugald Saunders.

Thirty properties and piggeries across the state have also recorded outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis (JEV).

The funding will go towards developing vaccines, improving surveillance and testing resources, and more effectively managing pests.

Also read: Learn to Milk a Cow at This Ecotourism Site in Jakarta, Indonesia

Saunders said it would improve the government’s capacity to respond to threats.

"Beefing up surveillance is one of the really important ways we can know if something comes in. We know where it gets to very, very quickly and we can lock it down," he said.

"The outbreaks in Indonesia mean we can no longer rely on our geographic buffer to keep our primary industries safe."

Currently, the only vaccines available for FMD and LSD involve live vaccines being brought into the country.

In doing so, Australia would be banned from exporting livestock to Japan, Korea, and China.

The minister said they are investigating the potential to create a mRNA vaccine for FMD and LSD which would allow livestock to be vaccinated against the disease while keeping trade open.

"We are hoping by the end of the year there will be some significant development around mRNA technology," he said.

"Everything is now on fast-track."

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the programs would help protect the agricultural industry.

"If you have a look at the last couple of years farmers have had a drought, fires, floods, Covid, a mouse plague," he said.

Source ABC

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