What is an emergency animal disease?
An outbreak of a serious emergency animal disease (EAD) can be disastrous for producers, causing significant personal stress and anguish as well as financial hardship. The livestock industries can lose sales opportunities both domestically and internationally in the wake of a damaged reputation for our produce, and the broader Australian economy could lose billions in trade and employment.
An EAD is likely to have a significant effect on livestock, potentially resulting in livestock deaths, production loss, and in some cases, impacts on human health and the environment.
Diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and mad cow disease (also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE) are obvious examples of EADs. However, the definition also includes unusual, severe outbreaks of established diseases that may cause sudden trade disruptions, such as the 1997 anthrax outbreaks in Victoria. It also includes new diseases where it is not immediately apparent what the disease is, such as the occurrence of Hendra virus in Queensland in 1994.