Local Land Services Run Emergency Animal Disease Training Exercise

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

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IMAGE: Local Land Services hosts an emergency management training exercise in Yass to prepare for an incursion of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in response to outbreaks in neighbouring countries.

South East Local Land Services recently hosted an emergency management training exercise on May 23 in Yass in response to the threat of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in neighbouring countries.

The aim of the training was to upskill and prepare agencies involved in emergency response and management in the event of an FMD incursion.

Principal Project Officer of Local Land Service’s Foot-and-Mouth Prevention and Preparedness Program, Mark Lettfuss said we couldn’t underestimate the impact FMD would have on Australia’s livestock industry.

“It’s imperative to ensure that our staff and stakeholders are trained and ready to act immediately in the event of an incursion,” Mr Lettfuss said.

Risk and Emergency Coordinator, Louise MacDonald said a national livestock standstill would give us time to implement surveillance, tracing and control measures to restrict the spread of disease if FMD was detected here.

“FMD is a highly contagious disease that has the potential to spread rapidly,” Ms MacDonald said. “Our training exercise focuses on being able to stop that spread in the shortest possible time.”

The exercise also included a personal protective equipment demonstration, a presentation on the importance of livestock tracing, and emergency animal disease outbreak scenarios for attendees to implement their skills. The day also included an optional tour of the South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX) Yass.

Approximately 40 people attended the training day, with participants including Local Land Services staff, stock agents and other agencies such as NSW Police, SES, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, and the ACT Government.

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