CRISIS response processes and emergency meetings are activated due to the risk to the Australian cattle industry of nodular skin disease.
Red Meat Advisory Council chairman John McKillop said the industry’s response to the crisis, known as CRIMAC, was now in place.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has met with industry leaders and other stakeholders in Brisbane to address the risk.
An agreed action by CRIMAC was to form a high-level intersectoral working group to ensure coordination and collaboration between all relevant industry sectors.
The working group is made up of senior representatives from RMAC, the National Farmers Federation, Australian Dairy Farmers and the respective industry service providers.
Independent Red Meat Advisory Council Chairman John McKillop said “the red meat and livestock industry has activated its Crisis Response Process, or CRIMAC, given the significant risk posed by reported presence of lumpy skin disease in Sumatra, Indonesia.
“The composition of the task force ensures the skills required, while remaining of a sufficiently high standard and effective, with technical or operational activities to be undertaken by committees determined by the task force,” McKillop said.
The main objectives are to:
- Assume a high-level and global coordination and collaboration role for the entire industry with respect to the management of identified risks related to Lumpy Skin Disease.
- Establish committees to undertake the necessary identified bodies of work, including technical, operational and communications work.
- Ensure collaboration and coordination across industry sectors and alignment with existing risk/response frameworks and plans for Lumpy Skin Disease.
- Be the focal point for advice, advocacy and industry communications on Lumpy Skin Disease with the Australian Minister for Agriculture.
At its first meeting, the working group agreed to the formation of the following four competency-based committees:
- Assistance abroad in the country
- Trade and Protocols
- LSD diagnostic capacity and vaccine development
- Domestic containment strategy
“Formation of these committees is underway, with committee membership to ensure broad industry representation and expertise from state agricultural organizations, peak industry councils, and your department, as appropriate. .” said Mr. McKillop
Meanwhile, Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Industry Development, Mark Furner, said that although the disease has been confirmed in cattle in Indonesia, there was no sign of it- here in Australia.
“We are working hard in coordination with the federal government, other states and territories, industry and veterinarians to put measures in place to manage the risks,” Furner said.
“Lumpy skin disease is a highly contagious skin disease of cattle and water buffaloes, which is transmitted by biting insects.
“Cattle with this disease can develop large skin growths over much of their body, which makes the animal very sick and sometimes leads to death.
“The disease impacts production through wasting, reduced milk production, damaged hides and reproductive losses, and it could compromise our market access. Recovering animals may remain in very poor condition for some time.
“Australia is free of the disease. We want that to continue.”
He said beef and dairy producers should be aware of the signs of the disease and immediately report anything suspicious toBiosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23or theEmergency animal disease surveillance hotline on 1800 675 888.