Foot and Mouth Disease Resources

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Protecting Victorian livestock

In May 2022, an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was reported in cattle in Indonesia and has since spread to Bali. An incursion of the virus would have severe consequences for Australia’s animal health and trade.

The emergence and rapid spread of FMD in Indonesia has changed the risk profile for passengers and goods arriving in Australia.

As a consequence, the VFF has taken a leading role in advocating on behalf of Victorian farmers to ensure improved preparedness and response.

If your animals show signs of FMD, you must report it immediately. Call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, or your local veterinarian.

How to prepare

With FMD on our borders it is vital that you and your farm are prepared.  

All livestock owners should have stringent biosecurity measures in place on their property, including accurate records of livestock movement. This means you should have a biosecurity management plan.

In addition, we recommend you undertake Animal Health Australia’s Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) training course to understand how EAD responses are managed in Australia.

Biosecurity Management Plan templates and information:

Information resources

The following information resources have been prepared by state and Commonwealth authorities regarding FMD response and preparedness:

Biosecurity signs

The VFF has received enquiries from farmers asking how they can access biosecurity warning signs to display on access points to their properties. At this point in time, the VFF does not have a program to supply signs to farm businesses, but we are in active discussions with government and industry on how a program can be established. At this time, the VFF recommends that farmers buy signs directly from Animal Health Australia.

Producers need to be aware however that due to recent changes to Victoria’s laws, you may need to update biosecurity signs in order to be able to prosecute trespassers on your farm.

Amendments to the Livestock Management Act 2010 mean that trespassers can be prosecuted for entering farms that have a biosecuirty management plan in place. In order to be protected by this law, farmers must ensure they display signs that are compliant with the regulations established under the Act. Those regulations are currently being finalised by Agriculture Victoria with input from the VFF. The VFF is advocating for practical regulations so that existing signs can be easilly updated, rather than requiring producers to go to the expense of replacing all their signs. We look forward to communicating the outcome of this advocacy once the regulations are finalised in late August / early September 2022.

VFF Foot and Mouth Disease Webinars

VFF has hosted two webinars in July and August 2022 with over 1,300 producers joining online to learn more about FMD preparedness and response from the following presenters:

  • Emma Germano, VFF President
  • Dr Chris Parker, Head of the National Animal Disease Taskforce, Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Dr Megan Scott, Principal Officer – Emergency Animal Disease, Chief Veterinary Officer’s Unit, Agriculture Victoria.
  • Tony Maher, NFF CEO

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions were asked by producers at the webinar held on 14 July. The VFF would like to thank Agriculture Victoria for providing responses. Please click on the question below to read the response in the dropdown:

Mental health support

We know this can be a difficult time for farmers and those working with livestock. If you or someone you know needs support, the following resources are available:

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