Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a serious and highly contagious emergency animal disease (EAD) and is considered one of Australia’s greatest biosecurity risks. FMD affects all cloven-hoofed animals (i.e. those with divided hooves), both domestic and wild including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids (camels and alpacas), deer and buffalo/bison. Other susceptible wild and zoo animals found in NSW include giraffe, Asian elephants, Himalayan tahr, Barbary sheep, antelopes and banteng.
Although Australia is free of FMD, with confirmed detections in Indonesia in 2022, Australia is now on high alert for the disease. The social and economic effects of an outbreak of FMD in Australia would be significant. An FMD outbreak is not just a threat to the Australian livestock sector. It will impact other industries, including the zoo and petting zoo industry.
Credit: NSW DPI
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is hosting a series of half-day workshops on Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) and Biosecurity Preparedness for zoo, fauna park and petting zoo exhibitors and their staff throughout NSW and Canberra in June. These workshops will enhance the understanding of FMD risks, and other emergency animal disease threats, for the zoo and wildlife industries and ensure that businesses that hold susceptible species are adequately informed, prepared, and supported.
Workshops are aimed at vets, vet nurses, zookeepers, ground and maintenance staff, those responsible for purchasing feed and supplies as well as supervisors, managers and policy makers are also welcome.
Workshops are free to attend, and both NSW and interstate zoo staff are welcome to participate. All the licensed NSW exhibitors have been sent an invite via email.
If you work in NSW and need to travel to attend the workshop, NSW DPI may be able to assist with travel and/or accommodation costs.
For more information and to register for this unique professional development opportunity go to : https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/beef-cattle/health-and-disease/viral-diseases/fmd/fmd-information-for-zoos,-petting-zoos-and-fauna-parks Scroll down the linked page to select the workshop location/date most convenient to you (noting there is the option of selecting either a morning or afternoon workshop in some locations).