July 19, 2022
Australia provides financial support to obtain FMD vaccines for Indonesia
Australia has offered financial support in providing one million doses of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccine to be delivered to Indonesia in August.
Australian agriculture officials met with their Indonesian counterparts on July 14 to discuss ways to stop the outbreak of FMD in Indonesia and prevent the disease from spreading to Australia.
The disease was detected in the Indonesian regions of Aceh and east Java in May and has since spread to 20 other areas, including Bali. Bali is a major tourist attraction for many Australians, which account for a quarter of the travellers to the Indonesian island each year.
Culling livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats or pigs has historically been the most effective mode of eradicating the disease, although the Indonesian government opted against this due to concerns of insufficient funds to compensate farmers for lost livestock. The government has instead started widespread vaccination.
Implementing a vaccination protocol creates trade issues, as livestock export products become subject to trade bans designed to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease to livestock in other countries.
An outbreak of FMD could mean severe and long lasting consequences to the Australian economy. An outbreak of FMD in Australia will see continued downwards pressure on cattle prices.
An FMD epidemic means Australia will also lose access to most export markets and producers will need to sell their product domestically.