Foot and mouth disease
Foot and mouth virus
Foot and mouth disease
This disease is NOT in New Zealand
Risk Assessment (90 KB) (April 2002)
(This assessment was published in the April 2002 issue of the New Zealand Veterinary Journal under the title: Pharo HJ (2002). Foot-and-mouth disease: an assessment of the risks facing New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 50(2), 46-55).
Immediately report any suspected cases to hotline, ph 0800 809 966
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease which affects cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, llamas and deer. It can be spread by saliva, mucous, milk, faeces and can be carried on wool, hair, grass, footwear, clothing, livestock equipment and vehicle tyres.
It can also spread quickly over long distances by wind.
The virus likes damp, cool conditions and is easily spread when animals are penned up. It does not like warmth and humidity, but in the right conditions has been shown capable of surviving several weeks in the soil, or on glass, sheep wool or cattle hair.
Clinical signs of the disease vary between species, but blisters on the nose, mouth and feet are consistent. Animals stop eating, become depressed and lame and salivate a lot.
There is no cure.
If FMD reached New Zealand virtually all exports of meat, animal by-products and dairy products would stop. They would not resume until at least three months after the slaughter of the last infected animal. The country’s trade reputation would be damaged, unemployment would rise (up about 20,000 jobs) and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would lose $10 billion over a two year period.
- Advice to farmers
- Advice to travellers
- Feeding food waste to pigs
- Precautions for shearers returning to New Zealand
- Information about Foot-and-mouth disease and other infectious vesicular diseases
- Risk of foot and mouth disease for humans
- Information on Global Transmission of Foot and Mouth Disease by Fomites
- The use of disinfectant foot baths with passengers arriving from countries with foot and mouth disease
- Why we don't vaccinate against foot and mouth disease in New Zealand
- Risks posed by imported horses
Page last updated: 21 May 2013
- Fact Sheet (254 KB)