About the FMD Ready Project

*Update as of 3 April 2020 – Please note that FMD Ready Project research undertaken by CSIRO is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we’ll continue to share the latest news for the project across AHA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so don’t forget to follow these accounts!

The FMD Ready Project aims to strengthen preparedness for an emergency animal disease outbreak and facilitate an earlier return to trade for Australia following control of such a disease, using FMD as a model.

This Project is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of its Rural Research & Development for Profit programme, 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, Water and the Environment, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).

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The challenge

Australia’s biosecurity system helps protect our livestock industries from many disease threats. However, there is a need to strengthen preparedness and response to facilitate an early return to trade for Australia should there be an emergency animal disease incursion.

FMD is currently regarded as one of the most economically and socially devastating livestock disease threats to Australia which could cost this country up to $50 billion over 10 years, should a multi-state outbreak occur. Because of the impact of this disease it is being used as a model to help us improve surveillance, preparedness and return to trade for other emergency animal diseases.

The Project will also contribute to improving the way Australia manages endemic diseases through the work being done in the strengthening of disease recognition and management.

Our response

This Project combines the expertise of research partners from several disciplines, working closely with livestock industries and jurisdictions to deliver approaches that will enhance emergency animal disease surveillance, preparedness and response in Australia.

The Project consists of four integrated sub projects that look into ways Australia can prevent, control and manage an emergency animal outbreak. These sub-projects include improving on-farm livestock surveillance, investigating response strategies, managing vaccines and determining how disease is spread.

The sub projects are:

  1. Rapid Diagnostics and Vaccination Strategy Preparedness
  2. Farmer-led surveillance
  3. Outbreak decision support tools
  4. Disease transmission path analysis


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