Keeping Timor-Leste free from Lumpy skin disease
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a severe disease 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. Up until 2012, LSD was limited largely to Africa and Israel but since then has made its way across many countries in southeast Asia. This follows a pattern of major, global spread of significant livestock diseases, such as LSD and African swine fever, in recent years. 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 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 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. 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 plans will also help Timor-Leste better meet its international trade and animal health obligations
Ministry of Agiculture and Fisheries (MAF) in Timor-Leste
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment