April 4, 2022
Australian state borders may close to cattle because of a lumpy skin outbreak
Australian government biosecurity experts said state borders may be closed to cattle movements due to the detection of lumpy skin disease in northern Australia, The Examiner reported.
Agents, producers, and consultants said the border closures will badly affect cattle buying and selling.
Cattle cross the state borders between New South Wales and Queensland everyday moving to paddocks for backgrounding and fattening, or marketed back to feedlots and processors. There is also cattle trade between South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Andrew Tongue, deputy secretary of biosecurity and compliance with the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, said confirmation of a lumpy skin outbreak will not only stop live cattle trade but halt the export of hides, milk, and cattle byproducts.
The Cattle Council of Australia said the border closure could result in a shutdown of access to major export markets for boxed beef.
Markus Rathsmann, president of the Cattle Council of Australia, said the cattle sector's response to this outbreak would be the most important biosecurity policy decision in decades and will affect the entire beef supply chain.
Dr Mark Schipp, Australia's chief veterinary officer, said it is crucial that veterinarians, cattle producers, associated livestock industry personnel, indigenous rangers and the wider community were vigilant and could identify the disease. Schipp is in Indonesia with a team of Australian experts helping to suppress the spread of the disease.
Exports say surveillance is important as the disease is highly infectious and eradication is nearly impossible.
- The Examiner