October 3, 2023
Australian-Indonesian partnership bolsters smallholders against lumpy skin disease
An impactful collaboration between Australia's livestock export industry and Indonesia's cattle sector is making significant strides in equipping Indonesian smallholders with the tools to safeguard their livelihoods from the threat of lumpy skin disease (LSD), Beef Central reported.
Australia's LiveCorp is funding the project, led by the Indonesian Society for Animal Science (ISPI), to elevate the vaccination rates of local cattle. This endeavour encompasses the dissemination of vital biosecurity information, the facilitation of vaccination events, and the organization of essential training workshops.
Wayne Collier, chief executive officer of LiveCorp, recently embarked on a visit to Indonesia, where he journeyed to the regency of Bandung to engage with officials and smallholders actively engaged in this crucial project.
"Indonesia and its cattle industry faced the challenge of LSD and foot and mouth disease (FMD) detections early last year," said Collier. "Many smallholder farmers in Indonesia possess just two or three cattle, which represent a significant portion of their savings. The repercussions of a disease outbreak among their cattle are profound."
The overarching objective of this initiative is to fortify the resilience of smallholders in shielding their cattle and, by extension, their families and communities through vaccination, biosecurity practices, and exemplary animal care.
This initiative is underpinned by a longstanding partnership between the two industries, including key stakeholders such as LiveCorp, the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council (ALEC), ISPI, and the Indonesian Beef Cattle Industry Association (GAPUSPINDO).
Pak Didiek Purwanto, head of ISPI, emphasised the significance of this project in curbing the spread of LSD. He observed that larger feedlots generally possess the resources to bolster their biosecurity measures. Conversely, the same cannot always be said for smallholder farmers in their proximity.
Pak Didiek said that while the Indonesian government has supplied vaccines, some smallholders are hesitant to administer them due to concerns about potential side-effects from other cattle vaccines, hearsay, and various other factors.
He said that their approach involves conducting workshops and providing comprehensive information to ensure that each village has individuals who possess the knowledge and expertise to administer vaccines, recognise and treat the disease in case of infection, and pass on this critical knowledge to others.
Funded by a generous AUD 1.2 million (~US$758,000; AUD 1 = US$0.63) grant from the Australian Government, this project is slated to continue its vital work until December, serving as a beacon of hope and support for Indonesian smallholders in the battle against lumpy skin disease.
- Beef Central