INDONESIA is pulling out all stops to bring foot and mouth disease under control in Bali but the disease is nowhere near eradicated.
Expert opinion is split on whether it will be possible to eradicate it.
Reports from Australian representatives at this month's World Organisation for Animal Health conference run by the South East Asia and China FMD Campaign say that in all the other SEA countries where FMD and lumpy skin disease is present, it is endemic.
None of the ten-odd countries have any expectation of eradicating either disease, Simon Quilty, Global Agritrends, said.
The incentive to eradicate the diseases, given these countries produce beef almost entirely for domestic purposes and are not exporters of red meat, was not high, he said.
While the same is true of Indonesia, it's government has made an enormous effort to bring FMD under control and the threat of losing tourism has played an important role in that, Mr Quilty said.
National Animal Disease Preparedness Coordinator Dr Chris Parker, from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, also confirmed there were still animals with FMD in Bali.
Speaking last week at the latest industry webinar providing updates on the two diseases, Dr Parker said the Indonesians were making a significant effort, particularly in Bali, with vaccinations.
Nearly all of the Australian Government-donated million vaccination doses had gone to Bali and were now being put into animals, both smallstock and cattle, he said.
The Indonesian government has been reporting no new FMD cases have been discovered in Bali.
Mr Quilty said there was certainly a real desire by the Indonesian government for Bali to be seen to be FMD-free.
"People on the ground have a different outlook. Those working in the field are not denying it at all," he said.
Bali vaccinations today are at 448,000 for first doses. Estimates put the Bali cattle herd numbers at 600,000 head, so 75pc vaccination has been acheived.
Of the national Indonesian herd, 22pc is vaccinated.
"There has been a strong focus on Bali and those first doses are strong, high quality vaccines so the first shot gives very good coverage," Mr Quilty said.
"Another three million doses are arriving by mid October and the best estimate is that by next January Indonesia will be producing their own FMD vaccines.
"This is all very good news for Australia."
However, there were some 'deep' concerns among experienced Australian cattle people it was now too late to eradicate and both diseases have already become endemic, Mr Quilty reported.
"Other Australian experts say there is still a chance to stop it and even eradicate it," he said.
On the LSD front, little to no vaccine had been distributed or used in Indonesia and the disease was 'spreading further as we speak', Mr Quilty said.
Last week, it reached southern Sumatra and central Java.
Dual vaccination of both FMD and LSD was not happening, despite it being common practice elsewhere and the lack of labour to apply vaccines being an issue.
Mr Quilty also reported illegal trading of livestock through Asia was the number one cause of the ongoing spread of both diseases.
Many of the borders are very porous in terms of livestock movements, he said.
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