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Tuesday, 1 November 1983
Page: 2156

Question No. 511


Mr Staples asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 14 September 1983:

(1) Is he able to say what is the extent of the foot and mouth disease outbreak raging throughout the Indonesian island of Java.

(2) Has the foot and mouth disease vaccine supplied by the Australian Government been produced by a synthetic genetic engineering process, or by traditional methods using whole virus.

(3) Is there a commercial genetically-engineered foot and mouth disease virus available for use now.


Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Clinical foot and mouth disease has reappeared in Java for the first time since 1979. First reports of the disease on 20 July localised the outbreak in a central east district of Java. The Indonesian authorities have since reported that the disease has spread throughout central and western Java and is now widespread on the island.

(2) Vaccine provided by the Australian Government is an inactivated vaccine produced overseas in the conventional manner from live virus.

(3) There is no commercial genetically engineered vaccine for foot and mouth disease available at this time. There are no recent reports of progress with FMD vaccine by the new technologies and it could still be several years before effective vaccines produced by those techniques will be available.