We're working to protect Australia and its neighbours from foot and mouth disease, one of the most serious biosecurity threats facing Australian agriculture.

The challenge

Foot and mouth disease is threatening Australia's agricultural industry

A foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Australia could cost the Australian economy up to $60 billion over 10 years due to trade restrictions.

AAHL works with an international alliance to help prevent FMD which can affect pigs, sheep, cattle goats, buffalo and deer.

Thankfully, Australia has been free of the disease since 1872 but many of our neighbours in Asia are not as fortunate.

In many Asian countries, the livelihoods of the people are dependent on their livestock and as FMD affects both milk production and reproduction, the disease can have a severe and relatively quick impact on many people.

Our response

Improving FMD diagnostic capabilities and research

Our scientists are helping several countries in the region improve their diagnostic capabilities and research into FMD, which in turn helps us better understand the FMD virus strains circulating in the region.

The results

Vaccines to protect against new emerging strains

As vaccination is a key control measure that will be used in the face of an outbreak, CSIRO is studying the effectiveness of FMD vaccines in target animal species to verify that the currently available vaccine strains in the Australian vaccine bank will protect against newly emerging strains of the virus.

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