Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp and Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Beth Cookson have visited Indonesia to discuss animal health and biosecurity cooperation.

Dr Schipp said the recent detection of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia, following on from an earlier outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) on the island of Sumatra, highlighted increasing animal disease risks in our region and the importance of biosecurity cooperation to protect Australia.

“FMD is a contagious viral disease found in cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, with severe consequences for animal health and agricultural trade,” Dr Schipp said.

“Australia is already working closely with Indonesia to combat animal diseases across our region, and stands ready to provide additional support to help combat and contain the FMD outbreak in Java and Sumatra.

“We’ll be meeting with senior officials at Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture to discuss the LSD and FMD outbreaks in Indonesia, and with the head of the Indonesian office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.”

Dr Cookson said that strengthening our relationships in Indonesia and sharing on the ground knowledge will help better protect Australia from exotic pest and disease threats.

“Foot-and-mouth disease is considered one of Australia’s biggest biosecurity risks, and we’ve been working tirelessly to ensure Australia is prepared for any outbreak,” Dr Cookson said.

“As part of this visit we’ll be gathering information on the ground with our embassy staff, including talking to the local Meat and Livestock Australia Office.

“And we’ll have an opportunity to discuss how we can build on existing partnerships to increase our support.”

Dr Schipp also visited Indonesia and met with key officials in April.

Image credit NTLEA

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