An emergency animal disease task group has been established to help Western Australia's livestock industries prepare for emerging disease threats including Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).
Established by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), the Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness Task Group will share information and collaborate on WA's prevention and preparedness activities for these emerging livestock biosecurity threats.
The task group includes representatives across the livestock industry, veterinarians, stock agents, the supply chain and government.
The preparedness task group met for the first time in May and was briefed by the State's chief veterinary officer Michelle Rodan.
DPIRD canvassed LSD and FMD national activities to reduce the risk to Australia, including access to vaccination, as well as WA activities involving surveillance and diagnostics, traceability, market access, training and communications.
The task group will meet for the second time this afternoon.
DPIRD biosecurity executive director Mia Carbon said establishing the Preparedness Task Group was an important step to ensure our State's livestock industries were ready to respond should FMD and LSD be detected in Australia.
"The task group will have a key role in providing advice to the Western Australian Government on industry's ability to respond, have input into disease preparedness and response planning and activities, and identify key issues around industry recovery and resilience," Dr Carbon said.
"The group will coordinate with other national and state industry and government organisations to share information and will play a critical role in connecting with industry and supply chains across the State.
"The focus will be on building industry awareness of emergency animal diseases, in particular FMD and LSD, to ensure early detection and prompt reporting of any unusual symptoms in livestock.
"The group will also review potential market impacts from FMD and LSD and other emergency animal diseases and help industries plan for this."
Dr Carbon said traceability was essential to finding and containing diseases, as well as to responding effectively and regaining market access as early as possible.
"The Preparedness Task Group will review traceability arrangements in WA to ensure that current data is available and accurate to inform prevention and preparedness activities," Dr Carbon said.
"They will also help identify the priority work needed for the WA livestock industry to be prepared for an outbreak of FMD or LSD and also look at recovery and resilience preparedness."
For more information on FMD please visit the department's website agric.wa.gov.au
DPIRD and WA Industry FMD and LSD Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness Task Group members
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