Lumpy skin disease

Lumpy skin disease has been detected in countries close to Australia, including Indonesia. We want livestock producers to be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout.

Key points:

  • Lumpy skin disease is a serious disease of cattle and water buffalo. It has never occurred in Australia but is an emerging threat as it continues to spread through Asia.
  • It is critical that cattle producers be aware of what lumpy skin disease looks like and report any signs of the disease observed in their cattle immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or their local veterinarian.
  • People and producers up in the Top End who may be around cattle and water buffalo, please be particularly vigilant, and urgently report the disease if they see it in these animals.

LOOK

Know the signs of Lumpy skin disease (LSD) and what to look out for in your cattle and buffalo, and who to contact if you spot anything unusual.

· Discharge from the eyes and nose – usually observed first

· Decreased milk yield in lactating cattle

· High fever that may exceed 41 °C

· Appearance of firm skin nodules (lumps) of 2 to 5 cm in diameter, particularly on the head, neck, limbs, udder, genitalia and perineum within 48 hours of onset of fever. The number of lesions varies from a few in mild cases, to multiple lesions covering the entire body in severely affected animals.

· Cattle may rapidly lose body condition, and some may need to be euthanased. Those that recover may remain in extremely poor condition for some time.

· The incubation period is usually between 4- and 14-days post-infection but can be up to 28 days.

· Morbidity (sickness) rates vary greatly and typically range between 10–20%. Mortality (death) rates of 1–5% are usual.

Report any signs of the disease observed in your cattle immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or to your local veterinarian.

Resources

FAQ

What is Lumpy Skin Disease?

  • Lumpy skin disease is a contagious viral disease that affects cattle (both beef and dairy) and water buffalo.
  • It has never been detected in Australia but is rapidly spreading through south-east Asia.
  • People cannot catch Lumpy skin disease from infected animals or from eating beef or drinking milk.

What are the signs of Lumpy skin disease in cattle and buffalo?

The incubation period is usually between 4- and 14-days post-infection but can be up to 28 days.

  • Discharge from the eyes and nose – usually observed first
  • Decreased milk yield in lactating cattle
  • High fever that may exceed 41 °C
  • Appearance of firm skin nodules (lumps) of 2 to 5 cm in diameter, particularly on the head, neck, limbs, udder, genitalia and perineum within 48 hours of onset of fever. The number of lesions varies from a few in mild cases, to multiple lesions covering the entire body in severely affected animals.
  • Cattle may rapidly lose body condition, and some may need to be euthanased. Those that recover may remain in extremely poor condition for some time.
  • Morbidity (sickness) rates vary greatly and typically range between 10–20%. Mortality (death) rates of 1–5% are usual.

How can Lumpy skin disease be spread?

  • Lumpy skin disease is primarily spread by biting flies, mosquitoes and possibly ticks.
  • Also, it can be spread by the movement of infected animals or contaminated products and equipment.

Where have Lumpy skin disease outbreaks been occurring?

  • Lumpy skin disease is established in Africa, the Middle East, South-East Europe, Kazakhstan and Russia.
  • In 2019 Lumpy skin disease was reported for the first time in Bangladesh, China and India.
  • In 2020 there were reports of it in Taiwan, Nepal, Vietnam, Bhutan, Hong Kong and Myanmar.
  • In 2021, outbreaks occurred in Thailand and Malaysia.
  • Indonesia reported its first outbreak of Lumpy skin disease on 03 March 2022.

Is Lumpy skin disease in Australia?

No, Australia is currently free of Lumpy skin disease. If Lumpy skin disease was to enter Australia, it could have major consequences for our cattle and buffalo industries and associated industries. Although Lumpy skin disease has never occurred in Australia, its spread through south-east Asia means it is an increased biosecurity threat to our country.

PREPARE

With lumpy skin disease (LSD) on our borders its vital that you and your farm are prepared.

· Ensure your farm biosecurity plan is up-to date and equipped for an outbreak.

· Have a biosecurity plan ready

· Complete these FMD training courses

Resources

FAQ

Prepare an on-farm biosecurity plan

A biosecurity action plan will help you identify and prioritise the implementation of biosecurity practices relevant to your property. When devising a plan for your farm, the biosecurity essentials are a good place to start. Find them here!

Download the Farm Biosecurity Action Planner here.

Who should you call if you notice anything unusual?

You should immediately report any unusual signs of illness in animals to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, your veterinarian, or your state/territory department of primary industries (or equivalent).

BE AWARE

Know the impacts you may face if LSD invades your space

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is one of the biggest biosecurity threats to Australia’s cattle (and buffalo) industries; the effect on products would be significant. Major disruptions to exports of meat, dairy and other bovine-derived animal products would be expected.

FAQ

What would an outbreak look like?

Lumpy skin disease can be challenging and costly to control or eradicate. How an outbreak of Lumpy skin disease would look would depend on how quickly it is detected. If an outbreak is detected early before it has become widespread, it is more likely to be successfully contained and eradicated.

The most important thing to do if a Lumpy skin disease outbreak occurs is to check your cattle regularly for signs of the disease, and to comply with the instructions of your state government biosecurity personnel, who will be working hard to contain and eradicate the disease.

What happens if I lose my cattle or buffalo to an outbreak?

If your cattle or buffalo die of Lumpy skin disease or are culled to control its spread, you may be eligible for compensation. Each jurisdiction has different legislation for determining eligibility for compensation.

For more specific information, you’ll need to contact your state government department of primary industries or equivalent. During an outbreak, information on compensation claims will be made available by the state/territory government department of primary industries.

Who pays the cost of the disease response?

The response to a disease outbreak conducted under the EADRA is cost-shared, meaning governments and industries split the costs of the response based on a pre-agreed formula.

What arrangements are in place to deal with an outbreak?

Australia has arrangements in place to manage animal disease outbreaks. The AUSVETPLAN Lumpy Skin Disease response strategy describes the nationally agreed approach to control and eradicate LSD if it occurs in Australia. The Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (or EADRA) is an agreement between all state and territory governments, the Australian government and livestock industry bodies which enables a quick and effective response to an EAD incident, while minimising uncertainty over management and funding arrangements.