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DPIRD to hold foot-and-mouth disease information forums throughout regional WA

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is kicking off a four-town tour to spread information about exotic livestock diseases including the dreaded foot-and-mouth.

The free information forums, which also focus on lumpy skin disease, will be held throughout this month starting in Manjimup on August 11.

Held at the Manjimup Town Hall at 2pm, the two hour forum will be followed by sessions in Cunderdin on August 17, Katanning on August 19 and Dandaragan on August 23.

Livestock producers will receive useful information and guidance on the two devastating diseases, which are running rampant in Indonesia.

DPIRD said livestock producers would receive tips on how to protect their stock as well as risk mitigation measures that could be implemented at farm level.

The forums will also include briefings on the latest State and Federal government response arrangements should either disease be detected in Australia.

LSD, which was detected in Indonesia in early March, is a viral disease of cattle and water buffalo that can result in significant production losses.

It is spread by biting insects including midges, ticks and mosquitoes, as well as contact between infected animals and equipment.

According to DPIRD, LSD could potentially enter Australia via insects carried across from Indonesia on strong winds during monsoonal weather, or infected insect vectors entering on returning vessels.

FMD, which was detected in Indonesia in early May, is extremely contagious and affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

It is spread through movement of and contact between infected animals, localised spread of airborne particles carried by the wind and through movement of contaminated animal products, vehicles and equipment.

FMD is most likely to reach Australia via the illegal importation of contaminated meat and dairy products.

Australia is currently FMD and LSD free, although an outbreak of either disease would see the nation’s meat, wool, dairy and live export trades frozen overnight.

To register for the information sessions, visit agric.wa.gov.au/livestock-biosecurity/emergency-animal-disease-hub-foot-and-mouth-and-lumpy-skin-diseases.

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