The NSW Government has mobilised its team of veterinarians and specialist biosecurity staff, ramping up efforts to ensure farmers are in the best position to manage a possible incursion of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
Expert staff from Local Land Services (LLS) will connect with farmers through a series of targeted workshops, webinars, and visits to saleyards and field days to help farmers identify and report the early signs of both FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said while the focus remains on keeping these diseases out of NSW, it’s crucial to prepare for a worst-case scenario.
“Our top priority is ensuring FMD and LSD never reach our shores – and we’ve been pushing hard for stronger biosecurity measures to keep our industry safe. But we do need to be prepared for the worst and that’s why we’re arming farmers with the information they need now,” Mr Toole said.
“Farmers can play their part by being alert for warning signs, regularly monitoring livestock and quickly reporting any suspect cases.
“We also have hundreds of LLS biosecurity signs available across the state for farmers to utilise and to warn people of the risks of bringing unwanted pests onto your property.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said with FMD and LSD on our doorstep, it’s a timely reminder for livestock producers to ensure their farm biosecurity plans are up to date.
“Farm biosecurity plans are the foundation of our State’s preparedness when it comes to new animal and plant diseases,” Mr Saunders said.
“These can be simple measures built into day-to-day operations that will help protect your farm and ultimately, our State.
“I am encouraging farmers to be overly cautious with people who come onto their properties and monitor livestock closely for blisters in and around the mouth area, drooling and limping.
“If livestock do exhibit any of these unusual signs, they must be reported immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or their Local Land Services district veterinarian.”
Farmers interested in learning more about FMD or LSD, or in attending an upcoming event are encouraged to visit https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/help-and-advice/pests,-weeds-and-diseases/biosecurity-alerts/foot-and-mouth-disease-and-lumpy-skin-disease for more information.
These events will support ongoing surveillance by LLS district veterinarians, who regularly carry out animal disease investigations across the State.