Keeping Timor-Leste free from Lumpy Skin and Foot and Mouth diseases

Project Details

Buffalo scarred the lumpy skin disease

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) and Foot and Mouth diseases (FMD) are severe diseases of livestock.  It only infects cattle and buffalo, even though it is caused by a distant relative of the smallpox virus, the only disease of humans to have been eradicated globally. The spread of these diseases to new countries has profound impacts on food security, animal welfare, rural livelihoods and global trade, and reflects potential gaps in veterinary surveillance and management of diseases that could spread to humans, such as COVID-19.  Diseases like LSD and FMD are the bellwether warning us of our capacity to deal with key One Health issues such as emerging infectious diseases, hunger and rural poverty.

A regional risk assessment of LSD introduction conducted by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2020 rated Timor-Leste at low to moderate risk of an LSD incursion, but the country is threatened by the creeping spread of the disease.  Timor-Leste currently has few preparedness, surveillance or response plans in place for LSD and FMD , and an incursion would impact livelihoods and may increase the risk of LSD introduction to Australia.

This project will work with the Ministry of Agiculture and Fisheries (MAF) in Timor-Leste to conduct an updated risk assessment, and develop preparedness, surveillance and response plans for LSD and FMD.  This will support the country’s ability to sustainably develop its agriculture sector, increase food production and address other animal diseases that threaten humans, such as brucellosis. Timor-Leste has ambitions to increase trade of cattle and cattle products to Indonesia through more formal pathways of trade, and strengthened LSD  and FMD plans will also help Timor-Leste better meet its international trade and animal health obligations


Angus Campbell

Max Bardot

Justin McKinley

Juan-Pablo Villanueva


Ministry of Agiculture and Fisheries (MAF) in Timor-Leste


Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Research Group

One Health

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Nossal Institute for Global Health

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