Foot and Mouth Disease Hub

The Risks of Foot and Mouth Disease

With the recent detection of Foot and Mouth Disease in Bali and Indonesia more broadly, an expert panel within the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries believes there is now an 11.6% chance of a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak within the next five years, this is up from 9% before the virus was detected in Indonesia.

Foot and Mouth Disease is prevalent in many places around the world including Africa, Asia and South America. Australia has successfully kept Foot and Mouth Disease out for 150 years through targeted biosecurity measures.

By exercising vigilance we can keep Foot and Mouth Disease out of Australia, but it is important everyone knows the risks we face and what they can do to prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease.

In a worst-case scenario, an outbreak could cost the Australian economy $80 billion over ten years and cause significant disruptions to the food supply chain in Australia.

Foot and Mouth Disease does not have an impact on meat quality or Human Health and should not be confused with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease in children.

Foot and Mouth Disease – Signs and Symptoms

If your cattle show signs of FMD, you must report it immediately. Call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, or your local veterinarian. Keep an eye out for:

  • fever
  • drooling and excessive salivation
  • reluctance to move
  • blisters on the mouth, snout, tongue, lips or between and above the hooves. Blisters may be intact or rupture – exposing raw tissue and causing pain.

Click here to download the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ FMD symptoms fact sheet

Government Action To Date

Cattle Australia expects Federal and State Governments to increase biosecurity funding as the risk of a biosecurity incursion increases. So far the response from the Federal Government has been appropriate in matching the increased risk.
  • The introduction of disinfectant floor mats at Australian airports
  • The introduction of biosecurity detector dogs in Darwin and Cairns Airports
  • More prominent information at airports informing travellers of FMD risk and precautions
  • Information campaigns informing travellers of their biosecurity responsibilities
  • Additional training of airport biosecurity staff
  • Enhancement of mail profiling and inspections, and
  • Screening 100% of passengers on randomly-selected flights from Indonesia
  • $9 million for 18 new biosecurity officers in airports and mail centres, and targeted diagnostic and surveillance activities targeting FMD and LSD.
  • $5 million to provide technical expertise and support to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea to assist in their work in combatting livestock diseases.
In addition, Cattle Australia is calling for the Federal Government to also consider:
  • A review of spot-fines to make sure they provide a sufficient deterrent to people who provide a false biosecurity declaration.
  • Increased investment in livestock traceability to help provide cover for all red meat species.
While Cattle Australia supports the use of airport foot baths as part of a mix of preventative measures, we acknowledge they provide far from 100% protection. This is because they only sanitise the shoes on a traveller’s feet.

Keeping Foot and Mouth Disease Away from your Property

In the event of an outbreak, the last line of defence against Foot and Mouth Disease will be at the entry to your property. While we can’t eliminate 100% of risks, a well-managed property with an up-to-date biosecurity plan will be able to significantly reduce the likelihood of Foot and Mouth Disease infections. Reducing movements of people and animals on and off your property is key to reducing the likelihood of a disease outbreak on your farm. Know the signs of Foot and mouth disease (FMD) and what to look out for in your cloven-hoofed animals, and who to contact if you spot anything unusual.
  • Cattle may show fever, be drooling and will be reluctant to move.
  • They can suffer blisters on the mouth, tongue, lips or feet.
  • Blisters may be intact or ruptured, exposing raw tissue which is very painful.
People in northern Australia need to be particularly vigilant. Not only do they need to check their livestock but if signs are seen in feral pigs, goats, camels or water buffalo, immediate action needs to be taken. Producers can help prevent an outbreak by:

Free Foot and Mouth Disease Information Sessions

Thursday 4 May 2023 

Learn more about the current status of FMD and LSD in Indonesia, new modelling on the risk of an LSD incursion, and the latest efforts to prevent these diseases from reaching Australia’s shores.

Speakers include –

  • John McKillop, Chair – Red Meat Advisory Council
  • Dr Brant Smith – Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Dr Beth Cookson – Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Dr Brendan Cowled, AusVet
  • Dr Samantha Allan, Animal Health Australia

Industry Webinar on FMD & LSD Trade Implications – 5 October 2022

This webinar features an update on the expected trade and market response from a potential FMD or LSD outbreak, plans to mitigate the impacts, and lessons learned from overseas. 

ISC Biosecurity Webinar – 9 August 2022

Find out how to protect your livestock and livelihood from biosecurity risks and learn practical hints and tips. Put your questions to an expert panel of speakers from ISC, Meat & Livestock Australia and Animal Health Australia.

Industry Webinar on FMD and LSD – 20 July 2022

Find out how you can be on the lookout for lumpy skin disease and foot-and-mouth disease and get the latest information on the emerging situation. Guests include Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, NFF President; Fiona Simson, RMAC Chair; John McKillop and Dr Samantha Allen from AHA.

Industry Webinar on FMD and LSD – 24 August 2022

The third instalment of the industry webinar series on Foot and Mouth Disease preparedness and prevention with your questions put to five industry leaders.


Garry Edwards

Managing Director and CEO, Maureen Pastoral Company

Garry was born and raised on a commercial beef cattle property south of Gloucester in New South Wales. Garry has personal cattle production interests in this region today as well as his corporate role as the Managing Director and CEO of AAM, a business that has a significant focus in continuing to expand beyond our cattle production interests in Central West NSW, near Forbes and Bective Station near Tamworth, NSW.

Garry has over 25 years’ experience in large scale livestock production management within the Australian agribusiness sector. His experience spans across a vast array of areas of the agricultural supply chain and includes managing businesses involved in livestock breeding, growing and finishing, financing of agricultural projects, implementation of precision agriculture practices, investigation and implementation of sustainability and innovation initiatives and developing and operating integrated agricultural businesses.

In 2007, Garry founded the company that today is AAM, commencing the development, operation and management of a portfolio of agricultural assets valued at $887 million and he remains the major shareholder of AAM.

Garry has a unique skill set across multiple facets of the grass-fed cattle production supply chain, from production through to finishing, as well as a unique perspective of the challenges facing all grass-fed producers within Australia through his involvement in the modernisation and development of livestock marketing facilities throughout Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

George King

Managing Director, The Whitney Pastoral Co and Manager, "Coombing Park"
George is a seventh generation Australian farmer, currently managing his family property which they have held since 1880. George operates an Angus breeding and finishing operation joining 1,500 cows per year, with a low-cost model turning off steers at feeder weights and direct sales of females.

George has long been on a regenerative agriculture path as it was the only way he could see to renovate their property 25 years ago without employed equity or working capital, which at the time they didn’t have. He continues with this model as it provides outstanding cost containments, continued production and profitability.

George is married with four (4) children, Harry 24, Emma 22, Dave 15 and Tom 13. He also enjoys flying and has his pilot’s license.

George is also a Founding Director of The Wellness House and a Founding Director of ONFARM CO. He has a strong voluntary involvement with his community including as the NSW Rural Fire Services Senior Dept Capt. and Chairman of St Paul’s Carcoar.

Bryce Camm

Grazier, camm agricultual group

Bryce Camm hails from Dalby in Queensland’s Darling Downs region where he oversees his family’s company Camm Agricultural Group; an integrated beef and cropping enterprise with interests across Queensland.

Bryce has been CEO of the group for the past eight years. Prior to that he was the Manager of the group’s award winning Wonga Plains Feedlot for eight years where he oversaw the operation triple in size. Growing up on “Natal Downs” Station in north Queensland Bryce undertook a dual degree in Business Administration and Communications at Bond University and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program as well as the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.

Bryce is currently the Chairman of Beef Australia Ltd and the Immediate Past President of the Australian Lot Feeders Council, as well as a previous Director of the Red Meat Advisory Council. 

Elke Cleverdon

Owner and Director, Cleverdon Agriculture - Grass Fed Black Angus

Elke is an experienced non-executive director in the agriculture and customer-owned banking sector with a passion for member-centric organisations. She brings a grower perspective, coupled with her genuine drive to elevate the industry through innovation. She was selected to the National Farmers’ Federation ‘Diversity in Ag Leadership’ 2022, among 12 women nationally.

Elke has a broad background in the agricultural industry as a producer and rural financial coach across regional NSW, challenging business models and production systems for growers across a wide range of commodities. Elke has been a joint owner and director of a broadacre family cattle property at Harden, NSW, since 1993. Cleverdon Ag raises and trades black Angus cattle.

Elke brings a wealth of financial, risk management and governance experience. Her current non-executive director roles include Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA), Murrumbidgee Health (NSW Health) and SWS Bank (a regional financial institution in NSW). 

Some of her many strengths include a strong focus on strategy, risk and a triple bottom line while chairing large-scale audit and risk committees.

Elke is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow CPA, and holds a Master of Business Administration focused in marketing, finance, business strategy and leadership. Her critical thinking and business acumen after 16 years’ experience as an executive in customer-owned banking and the past eight years as a Rural Financial Coach, makes her an ideal candidate seeking to advance producers’ long-term best interests in a fair and strong supply chain.

David Foote

Director - Tandarra Partners

Nominated by: Peter Hall, Troy Setter, Bryce Camm, David Hill, Adam Coffey 

For the past 45 years, David has held rural property management, executive and senior management positions across all mainland states in areas of; beef cattle & sheep breeding, growing and lot feeding, meat retailing, small seed growing, irrigated fodder, and the further processing and exporting of primary products such as meat, grain and fodder.

His export experiences which started in 1989 included a role with Stanbroke Pastoral Company to help develop Stanbroke’ s Live cattle export program. Additionally, David managed the integration of Bottle Tree feedlot grain feeding in the production system while developing and launching their now globally recognised Diamantina beef brand.

David has been in a leadership role at the Lee Family’s, Australian Country Choice group of Companies since 1999 and progressed in that time from General Manager Properties & Livestock to Group Managing Director until stepping back in December 2020 from a full time role to a strategic advisory and board role.

Headquartered in Brisbane and employing over 1,400 staff across 42 operations, Australian Country Choice (ACC) operates Australia’s largest vertically integrated beef supply chain; encompassing cattle breeding, cattle growing and feedlotting to supply its integrated food processing facility in Brisbane that incorporates beef slaughter, beef boning, value-adding and case ready beef packing.

ACC’s cattle property portfolio of around 4 million acres in Queensland & NSW encompasses operations from the Barkly Tableland, CQ coalfields, Carnarvon ranges, Augathella, Blackall, Roma, and Moonie districts of Queensland, with a carrying capacity of 300,000 head. of cattle to support the Company’s 3 feedlots.

Additionally, David represents Agricultural & Cattle industry interests in his role as; Non-Government member Australia­ Indonesia Red Meat & Cattle Partnership, member SmartSat CRC, member Cattle Australia -Policy Council, member Australian Meat Industry Council -China & Halal Trade Groups, Chair Workplace Health & Safety Queensland -Rural Industry Sector Standing Committee, Deputy Chair Laguna Bay Pastoral investment committee and Board Member lnventia Genetic Technologies (IGT). 

Away from work David has a small cattle property in the Mt Kilcoy (Qld) district running Charolais & Charbray breeders to the delight of his four grandchildren.

David wishes to continue into a second term to help build a strong and successful Cattle Australia to represent the interest of all cattle producers