Risk of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease

October 5, 2022

Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids (eg alpacas, llamas and camels), deer and pigs. Cloven-hoofed animals are those with a split toe. It does not affect horses.

The virus is carried by live animals and in meat and dairy products, as well as in soil, bones, untreated hides, vehicles and equipment used with these animals. It can also be carried on people’s clothing and footwear.

It can survive in frozen, chilled and freeze-dried foods including meat and dairy products.


Lumpy skin disease is a highly infectious viral disease that affects all breeds of cattle and water buffalo. It does not affect other types of livestock or humans.

It is primarily spread by biting insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies and possibly ticks. It can also be spread through direct contact between animals via secretions and excretions.

Contaminated feed, water, vehicles and iatrogenic means (eg repeated use of needles on different animals) can all spread the disease. Lumpy skin disease may be shed in semen and may be present in milk of infected animals.


These emergency animal diseases have recently been reported in countries close to our international borders. This is a stark reminder of the risk that exotic diseases play and our shared role in protecting our agricultural industry.

Your support is essential to protect NSW’s clean reputation and ensure ongoing market access.


It is critical that:

all livestock owners know what these diseases look like
that you check your animals regularly
that you report any suspect signs immediately to your local district vet (1300295 299) or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline (1800 675 888).

Remember biosecurity is a shared responsibility and landholders need to actively monitor for these diseases and report any suspected cases.

Foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease are nationally notifiable diseases. This means an animal showing suspect signs of the disease must be reported to a Local Land Services District Veterinarian on 1300 795 299or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Attend an EAD/Biosecurity event or watch live recordings of past EAD events for more information about what you can do to protect Australia's livestock from FMD and LSD.

We strongly encourage you to use this threat as an opportunity to update your farm biosecurity plan.

A farm biosecurity plan will help you identify and prioritise what practices you need to implement to protect against diseases such as foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.

Learn more about preparing an on-farm biosecurity plan.

Source: https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/emergency-animal-disease