24 Aug 2015
Biosecurity spotlight

Flock biosecurity is at the forefront of Gippsland Merino breeders minds, which prevents the spreading of pest and disease and protects clients' property from costly infection.

The upside to this strong focus on biosecurity is a reputation as progressive leaders in producing healthy, resilient stock.

In the past year, Steve Harrison Bindawarra Merino Stud, Giffard has undertaken an international training course on foot and mouth disease, in Nepal, and seen firsthand issues of wool contamination at processors in China.

24 Aug 2015


From the Animal Production and Health Division e-newsletter 121 (20 July):
Building veterinary laboratory capacity in Africa: THE VETLAB NETWORK
Empowering women in Afghanistan - Reducing gender gaps through Integrated Dairy Schemes
FAO commits regional efforts to control cross-border livestock diseases in South Sudan and Uganda


From the Animal Production and Health Division e-newsletter 120 (6 July):
Game of Drones: the advent of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) brings new possibilities in disease control and surveillance activities on neighbouring farms

26 Jun 2015
Bulgaria undertakes animal disease outbreak simulation

Simulation exercise on Foot-and-Mouth disease, being conducted in Balkan countries.

A group of 60 people – veterinarians, animal health experts, and animal health service staff – continue their exercise at the farm, rapidly and thoroughly executing the required coordinated actions to manage a case of Foot-and-Mouth disease. They are in the midst of a two-day simulation exercise, within a full-scale training series organized by the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD), whose secretariat is based at FAO headquarters in Rome, with the assistance of the Danish Emergency Management Agency and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

This is part of an EU-supported effort to help the Balkan countries bolster their capacities for responding to a possible outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth disease, one of the most contagious animal diseases and one with severe economic consequences. Although Western Europe is officially virus-free, the disease still persists in the surrounding area (Southern Mediterranean, Middle East, parts of Eastern Europe).

12 Jun 2015
Oamaru vet tells of foot-and-mouth disease in Nepal

 Oamaru veterinarian Ivan Holloway spoke to a crowd of more than 150 people in Queenstown last week about his experiences with foot-and-mouth disease in Nepal.Mr Holloway spoke to a group of New Zealand Veterinarian Association Sheep, Beef and Deer conference delegates last Thursday.He discussed the trip in which they visited an outbreak site where buffalo, cattle and goats all exhibited symptoms of the disease.Mr Holloway said the talk went very well and helped to keep awareness the threat of foot-and-mouth disease."It was a good turnout of veterinarians."Travellers returning from overseas needed to keep the disease in mind and declare whether they had been in rural areas where the disease might have been be present.An extra 30 minutes at the airport was better than having the disease come into the country, he said.The trip to Nepal was held to ensure that New Zealand veterinarians were well-prepared for an emergency in New Zealand."The risks of an outbreak in our country are very real, and potentially extraordinarily costly."It had been a great opportunity and he had done a number of presentations on it since his return, Mr Holloway said."It's important to have that network of people who know about the disease."If foot-and-mouth disease came to New Zealand it would have a major economic, environmental and psychological impact, he said."Most New Zealand veterinarians have little first-hand experience with the disease, yet it is one of the most significant animal disease threats to the New Zealand livestock industry, with the Ministry for Primary Industries estimating losses of $5.8 billion for a small outbreak to more than $14 billion for a large outbreak." While the Western world is largely free of foot-and-mouth disease, it continues to be endemic throughout Asia; risks of an outbreak in our country are very real, and potentially extraordinarily costly."


13 May 2015
Randomised field trial to evaluate serological response after foot-and-mouth disease vaccination in Turkey
Science Direct; Emergence

Vaccination programmes do not always achieve the expected, and hoped-for, results. Although the blame is often placed on the vaccine, in fact there are a large number of reasons why programmes may appear not to work. In Anatolian Turkey FMD has remained uncontrolled despite years of mass vaccination. There are a number of possible reasons behind this, and the evaluation of serological responses can aid our understanding of these further.

13 May 2015
Impact of foot-and-mouth disease on milk production on a large-scale dairy farm in Kenya
Science Direct


Impact of foot-and-mouth disease on milk yield on a Kenyan cattle farm was evaluated.

Overall mean yields deceased from 20 to 13 kg/cow/day, recovering 2 months later.

No difference in milk yield was seen between reported cases and non-cases.
Comparisons with predicted yields that were based on historic herd data.
Cows ≥2nd parity and 0–50 days in milk produced significantly less than predicted.
31 Mar 2015
Katie Hickey talks about her secondment to the EuFMD

We talk to Katie Hickey about her secondment to the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD) and the benefits of international collaboration for MPI’s readiness in the unlikely event of an FMD outbreak.

“No matter where you are in the world many issues are the same when faced with an outbreak of FMD or any animal disease or large-scale emergency,” says Katie. “By collaborating internationally we can share experiences, avoid duplication of work and maintain awareness of the latest developments.”

18 Dec 2014
Nepal visit builds foot-and-mouth disease knowledge

A specialised training program involving Western Australian veterinarians is helping build the State’s capacity to respond to emergency animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

Veterinary officers from the Department of Agriculture and Food have taken part in a real-time training program run by EuFMD - a regional body of the European Commission for the Control of FMD.

Department veterinary officers Kevin Hepworth, stationed in Geraldton, Rod Thompson (Moora), Ashley Jordan (Northam), Tom De Ridder (Broome) and Bruce Twentyman (South Perth) recently completed the training in Nepal, a country where outbreaks of FMD are a regular problem.

16 Dec 2014
Attendance at EUFMD conference proves fruitful for MPI staff


The Open Session at the European Commission for the control of foot-and-mouth disease (EUFMD) is regarded as one of the world’s premier FMD conferences. Andre van Halderen and Eve Pleydell from MPI attended this two-yearly event and have returned with some useful insights. The theme for this year’s open session was Where science and policy meet: FMD risk management in a world of changing disease landscapes.

Overall, the conference highlighted the ongoing challenges that the control of FMD presents at both the country and global levels. In particular we’re seeing previously unimportant strains emerging in North Africa and the Middle East and this is of considerable concern to Europe. There was also a very interesting update on the situation in Asia, including the changing strains involved. Not surprisingly, the need for maintaining robust border and pre-border controls was also highlighted.


30 Jul 2014
Nepalese trip highlights Foot and Mouth disease danger to agriculture

David Payten went on a trip to Nepal last March with a group of 100 vets to look into the effects of foot and mouth disease in a country where it is endemic and to learn how to recognise it in infected animals.Foot and mouth disease is a disease which mainly infects cloven hoofed animals (cattle, sheep, goats pigs) although camels can be infected.

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