Australia launches national lumpy skin disease action plan

The plan includes improving surveillance
calendar icon 8 November 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

An Australian-first plan to defend the cattle industry against lumpy skin disease (LSD) was launched in Darwin on 13 October 2022, according to a press release from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt outlined eight objectives as part of the National Lumpy Skin Disease Action Plan when he met with representatives from the cattle industry in Darwin, including MLA Chair Alan Beckett (see image).

The Action Plan includes improving surveillance for the disease and increasing the focus on lumpy skin within the region. The eight objectives include:

  1. Strengthen collaboration and engagement within the region to strategically address the risks of LSD.
  2. Augment industry-government collaboration and communication on the border biosecurity risks of LSD to Australia
    and strategically address technical market access barriers.
  3. Ensure Australia’s national diagnostic network provides reliable LSD testing capability and capacity.
  4. Optimise government and industry investment in LSD surveillance.
  5. Enhance the LSD preparedness and emergency response capacity and capability of industries and governments,
    and clearly define roles and responsibilities.
  6. Facilitate stronger engagement between governments, industry and communities through a comprehensive and
    adaptable communication strategy for LSD.
  7. Improve Australia’s LSD preparedness and response through research priorities driven by industry and
    government needs, and ensure new knowledge is freely accessible.
  8. Mitigate the economic and social effects of an outbreak of LSD by developing options for a recovery strategy.

Twenty-seven activities have been outlined to address the above objectives and improve Australia’s preparedness for a potential incursion of LSD.

The Action Plan was developed with extensive consultation between Australian government, state and territory governments, industry groups and non-governmental stakeholders.

Representatives from the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and industry peak bodies will share responsibility for the implementation of the Action Plan. An industry-government steering committee, led by the Commonwealth, will help guide implementation of the Action Plan and represent industry and governments’ shared interests. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will support the steering committee, coordinate implementation of the plan and assist in the reporting of actions to stakeholders.

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