Lumpy skin disease vaccine supply secured

Australia is investing in a lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccine supply agreement as a part of ongoing efforts to keep Australia free from LSD.

The Australian Government has signed a contract with MSD Animal Health to ensure an initial supply of 300,000 doses of LSD vaccine will be available for Australia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea (PNG), if required.

These doses will be held in a secure overseas location.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said that while Australia remains free of LSD, the presence of this disease in the region remains a threat to agricultural industries in Australia and our neighbours.

“The Australian Government understands the importance of strong biosecurity and keeping LSD out of Australia.

“With a small financial investment, we gain a massive return in biosecurity protection for Australian cattle,” Minister Watt said.

“Australia remains LSD free and our assessment of risk hasn’t changed.

“Access to vaccines is a longstanding part of our strategy to reduce risk offshore and build confidence in our response mechanisms.

“The agreement means we will have priority access to a high-quality vaccine that can be used quickly to protect Australian animals if we did need to respond to an outbreak, or that can be used overseas to reduce the risk to our near neighbours.”

The LSD vaccine supply agreement will run for an initial four years and is an important step in enhancing Australia’s preparedness.

This also ensures Australia has the appropriate arrangements in place over the longer term for accessing a safe and effective LSD vaccine if one is needed.

Additionally, an Emergency Use Permit has been issued recently by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for use of this vaccine, should that ever become necessary.

Technical Market Development Lead for MSD Animal Health Australia Damian O’Brien said he was looking forward to the partnership with the Australian Government.

“MSD Animal Health has a long history of developing and manufacturing critical vaccines for the health and wellbeing of animals and we are proud to be partnering with the Australian Government on their disease preparedness program for LSD,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Australian Government will continue to work in close partnership with regional neighbours, national industries, and all state and territory governments to reduce the risk of this disease reaching Australia’s shores and impacting the animal health and livelihoods of our neighbours.