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What you need to know about Foot and Mouth Disease.

What you need to know about Foot and Mouth Disease.

Advice to farmers and livestock owners

Photo: B+LNZ

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a major biosecurity threat to New Zealand. If found here, FMD would have a significant ongoing impact on our agriculture, trade, export and related sectors.

It takes all of us to protect New Zealand from an FMD outbreak. Our best defence is to practise good biosecurity, watch for the signs and respond quickly so we can minimise the risk of a breakout. This highly contagious disease is easily spread and hard to stop – so prevention and early detection are key.

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved (two-toed) animals such as cows, sheep, goats and pigs. It is an animal health disease with no significant health impact on humans.

There have been no cases in New Zealand yet, but FMD is the largest biosecurity threat for New Zealand. An outbreak would have a significant impact on animals, farmers, primary industries, and the New Zealand economy.

Don't be afraid to make a report

Report suspected FMD symptoms immediately to your vet or the MPI pest and disease hotline: 0800 80 99 66  (Tip: Save this number in your phone now in case of an outbreak.)

It's natural to worry about what will happen after calling. MPI deals with about 10 call-outs a year for suspected FMD. So far, all of these have turned out to be negative. But we need to be prepared and keep reporting any suspected disease.

Remember – if FMD is confirmed, a trained manager will be assigned to the property to help deal with the outbreak. Compensation is also available to help cover associated costs.

For more information go to DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and MPI

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