September 30, 2003



Australia Joins Research On Cattle Disease

Australia's premier science agency Tuesday announced it will join a push by British, U.S. and Canadian scientists to research and develop an improved vaccine and testing regime for foot and mouth disease in cattle.


Martyn Jeggo, director of the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization livestock industry animal health laboratory said foot and mouth disease is a global problem requiring a global solution. "What is needed is a commitment by the international community to fund the work, which we estimate will cost A$60 million...a paltry sum compared to the around US$12 billion cost of the 2001 FMD outbreak in the U.K.," he said in a statement.


Most countries probably can't afford the burden of funding the necessary research, but the world cannot afford to do nothing. This is why the United Nations and other international groups have been approached for support with the research.


Research produced after the British outbreak showed the Australian livestock industry would be devastated by any domestic discovery of foot and mouth disease, as the country is a major global supplier of beef.
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