INDONESIA has paused exports from four Australian facilities after cases of lumpy skin disease (LSD) were detected in animals from Australia.

In a statement, chief veterinary officer of Australia Dr Mark Schipp confirmed that lumpy skin disease has “never been detected in Australia, and Australia remains free from the disease”.

“The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has been advised by the Indonesian Agriculture and Quarantine Agency (IAQA) that LSD has been detected in a small number of Australian cattle exported to Indonesia—after those cattle had arrived and spent some time in Indonesia,” Dr Schipp said.

“Given the presence of LSD in Indonesia, positive results in cattle post arrival in Indonesia are not unexpected.”

Dr Schipp said as Australia remains free of the disease, a detection in another country does not change Australia’s animal health status.

“We have worked closely with our Indonesian colleagues for many years on joint areas of interest such as animal biosecurity. We continue to do so to provide assurance that all animals exported from Australia comply with all Indonesian requirements, including being free of LSD,” he said.

“LSD is a highly infectious viral disease of cattle and buffalo that is transmitted by biting insects – it is not a disease that poses a risk to humans. There is no cause for concern for Australian cattle producers as Australia remains LSD free.”

Minister for agriculture Murray Watt said Australian officials are working with Indonesian authorities to reassure them that all animals exported from Australia comply with all Indonesian requirements, including being free of LSD.

“Indonesia has paused exports from four Australian facilities pending further testing of animals, but live cattle exports to Indonesia are continuing and 28 registered establishments are available for use by exporters wishing to trade,” he said.

“Work is already underway to deliver rapid testing and restore exports from those facilities.”

Red Meat Advisory Council chairman John McKillop said: “The robust systems that Australia has for the ongoing monitoring of our animal disease status supports us to trade around the world.

“We respect the right of Indonesia’s technical authorities to seek relevant assurances that live cattle exported from Australia comply with their animal health requirements. This includes being free of LSD.”

National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson said the industry and the states and territories are working closely with the Australian Government to provide the assurances sought by Indonesia’s authorities.

“In the meantime, Australian livestock products continue to be traded, including live cattle to Indonesia where the trade remains open,” she said.