Lumpy Skin Disease triggers industry crisis response process

Guest Author, 19/04/2022

The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) says it has activated the red meat industry’s crisis response process, or CRIMAC, in view of the significant risk posed by the declared presence of Lumpy Skin Disease in Sumatra, Indonesia.

“An agreed action from the CRIMAC meeting on 8 April 2022 was to form a high-level cross-industry taskforce to ensure coordination and collaboration across all affected industry sectors. The taskforce is comprised of senior representatives of RMAC, National Farmers’ Federation, Australian Dairy Farmers’ and the respective industry service providers,” Independent Chair John McKillop said.

“The taskforce’s membership ensures the requisite skills, while remaining sufficiently high level and effective, with technical or operational activities to be undertaken by committees as determined by the taskforce. The key objectives and activities of the taskforce are to:

  1. Undertake a whole-of-industry high-level and overarching coordination and collaboration role with respect to the management of identified Lumpy Skin Disease related risks.
  2. Establish committees to undertake necessary identified bodies of work including technical, operational and communications.
  3. Ensure collaboration and coordination between industry sectors and alignment with existing Lumpy Skin Disease risk/response frameworks and plans.
  4. Be the primary point for industry advice, advocacy and communications on Lumpy Skin Disease with the Australian Government Minister for Agriculture.

“In its first meeting on 13 April 2022, the taskforce agreed on the formation of the following four skills-based committees:

  1. Overseas in-country support
  2. Trade and protocols
  3. LSD diagnostics capability & vaccine development
  4. Domestic containment strategy

“The formation of these committees is underway, with the committee composition to ensure broad industry representation and skills from State Farming Organisations, Peak Industry Councils and your department, as appropriate,” said Mr McKillop.

Meanwhile the Queensland Government has met with industry leaders and other stakeholders in Brisbane today to address the risk of  Lumpy skin disease to cattle in the State.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said while the disease had been confirmed in livestock in Indonesia there was no sign of it in Australia.

“We are working hard in coordination with the federal government, other states and territories, industry and veterinarians to have measures in place to manage the risks,” Mr Furner said.

“Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a highly infectious skin disease of cattle and water buffalo, which is transmitted by biting insects.

“Cattle with this disease can develop large skin growths over much of their body, which makes the animal very unwell and sometimes leads to death.

“The disease impacts production through emaciation, decreased milk production, damaged hides, and reproductive losses, and it could jeopardise our market access. Animals that recover can remain in extremely poor condition for some time.

“Australia is free of Lumpy Skin Disease. We want to keep it that way, which is why we’re holding this Roundtable today and hearing about the latest surveillance, prevention and preparedness measures.”

More information is available here

Beef and dairy producers need to be aware of the signs of LSD, and immediately report anything suspicious to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Source: RMAC, Qld Government


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  1. Mark Rickard, 04/05/2022

    My understanding is that LSD is a pox virus and mainly affects cattle but there is evidence that it has merged with sheep & goat pox and is now affecting these species. Has there been any research done on the possibility that LSD could merge with the Kangaroo Poxvirus and affect macopods.

  2. Rob Atkinson, 21/04/2022

    Can we have some discussion on this topic folks. Can Beef Central initiate a forum on the LSD treatments in other parts of the world?

    Happy to accommodate that, if readers wish to engage on that topic, Rob. By the way, Australia’s chief vet, Dr Mark Schipp, discusses the merits or otherwise of existing LSD vaccines in an upcoming Weekly Grill podcast with Kerry Lonergan. Editor

  3. Rob Atkinson, 19/04/2022

    Has CRIMAC, RMAC, CCA or DA received advise from farmers or vets in Southern Africa about LSD? Southern Africa is where the disease originated.
    My contact in Zambia suggested that their vaccination regime was very effective, one vaccination every 3 years, to the extent that they no longer vaccinate at all!
    Shouldn’t our industry be looking there before we
    1/. Bring the live virus to Geelong?
    2/. Develop a new vaccine if the current vaccine used in Southern Africa is effective?

    • Gil Schmidt, 21/04/2022

      Instead of reinventing the wheel Australia should look at Europes action plan which is easily accessible

      There are three vaccines available now, LSDV Neethling strain by Onderstepoort Biological Products (DBP)

      Attenuated LSDV field strain Lumpyvax by MSD Animal Health


      Let’s hope the industry evaluates available vaccines before wasting more taxpayers money duplicating existing research.

      Thanks for your comment, Gil. Australia’s chief vet, Dr Mark Schipp, discusses the merits or otherwsie of existing vaccines in an upcoming Weekly Grill podcast with Kerry Lonergan. Editor

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