The FMD (foot-and-mouth disease) Ready Project is an innovative project looking at different ways Australia can effectively prepare for, control and contain an FMD outbreak as efficiently and quickly as possible.
In particular, FMD Ready sub-projects involve studying vaccine options, demonstrating the value of farmer-led partnerships in animal health surveillance, improving outbreak modelling capability and developing tools that would assist in determining how farm-to-farm spread is occurring.
Our part in the project
The Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation is involved in the Farmer-led Surveillance sub-project, examining ways to improve partnerships on the ground between all livestock industry stakeholders including producers and vets.
The goal of the subproject is to enhance regular monitoring of animal health and reporting of unusual signs of disease through these improved partnerships. The goal is to assist with early detection, and a rapid and effective response to the introduction and spread of significant diseases.
Listening to producers
As part of the FMD Ready surveillance subproject, survey data is being collected from producers in the major livestock industries potentially affected by an FMD outbreak. This allows the research team to better understand the vital role rural communities play in biosecurity and the potential role improved partnership might play in improving the effectiveness of surveillance systems.
The sheep, beef and goat surveys have already provided a large amount of data concerning practices and beliefs of Australian livestock producers around animal disease management.
“This online survey aims to build our knowledge about Australian livestock producers, their animal health management, and attitudes towards surveillance for emergency animal diseases,” Dr Hernandez-Jover said.
“We want to investigate how pork and dairy producers can be better supported to improve on-farm profitability and animal health management, through innovative communication and extension approaches.”
The Project is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural Research & Development for Profit program, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and Charles Sturt University (CSU), leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners.
The research partners for this project are the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), CSU through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).
For more information about The Project visit http://research.csiro.au/fmd/