Implementation of Control Measure Policy to Foot and Mouth Disease in Indonesia

Implementation of Control Measure Policy to Foot and Mouth Disease in Indonesia

Published: 2023.05.24
Accepted: 2023.05.12
104
Professor
Department of Agribusiness, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Indonesia
Consultant
Indonesian Agricultural Researcher’s Alliance (APPERTANI)
Deputy Secretary General
National Leadership Council Indonesian Farmers Union (HKTI)

ABSTRACT

 

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak is an acute contagious disease that attacks cloven-footed animals. FMD has been reported to have spread and threatened many livestock in several parts of Indonesia and spread evenly throughout the province. FMD is categorized as a national disaster affecting food safety and livestock health – it causes huge economic losses due to decreased production. It becomes an obstacle in the trade of animals and their products. This paper discusses the current case of FMD and its control measure policy implementation in Indonesia. The government has implemented certain regulations and guidelines to control FMD cases in the country through different consecutive stages. It is generally implemented through stamping out with a zoning system and vaccination. The former was conducted selectively, while the latter was implemented comprehensively. Up to 2003, Indonesia had succeeded in eradicating the FMD outbreak through zoning. The alteration from country to zoning based has made Indonesia achieve international appreciation from WOAH. The implementation of a control measure policy for FMD is essential to support self-sufficiency in beef for maintaining domestic price stability, making beef more affordable to consumers, and helping the livelihoods of local farmers. There is a need to provide investments and implement cost-benefit analysis for the livestock sector in Indonesia, particularly for smallholders. Hence, it is necessary to consider the possibility of sharing funding between the central and local governments and the private sector through a “cost-sharing agreement” to implement an appropriate control measure policy for FMD in Indonesia. Above all, it is necessary to simultaneously campaign about FMD for society so that they are always aware of the impact of this virus in their daily lives. At the same time, it is recommended to develop digital traceability system to increase the business management efficiency of livestock productivity and to achieve the free status of FMD in the country.

 

Keywords: foot and mount disease, control measure, policy, implementation, Indonesia

 

  

INTRODUCTION

 

Background

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a disease caused by a virus with a rapid spread beyond regional boundaries with significant loss impacts (DGLAH, 2022a). FMD is recognized to heavily impact livestock production (Truong, et.al., 2018). The direct impact of this disease can be classified into two types: visible and invisible losses. The visible losses include draft power milk production losses, abortion, death, and a decreased livestock product value. Meanwhile, the invisible losses comprise a reduction in fertility, delay in the sale of animals and livestock products, change in farm structure resulting in deaths, decreased parturition rate, delayed sales, and reduced access to the market. Moreover, FMD causes additional expenditures (indirect impacts) in disease control, such as vaccination, post-vaccination monitoring, movement control, diagnostic, and surveillance. The impact of FMD is especially meaningful to small producers as it threatens their livelihood and food security.

 

Previously, Indonesia was declared free from FMD in 1986 through the Decree of the Minister of Agriculture Number 260/1986 and was later recognized by the World Animal Health Organization (WOAH) through Resolution Number 11/1990. Nevertheless, recently, around 5 May 2022, FMD reappeared after being confirmed by the Veterinary Farma Center (Pusvetma) in East Java Province and then spread to several other areas (Beazley, 2022). East Java province and Java region respectively contribute about 28.13% and 48.70% to the national production of beef cattle and dairy cows in Indonesia (DGLAH, 2022b).

 

The consequences of FMD have had an impact that must be of common concern. The impact of losses from the disease is estimated to reach around US$ 1.37 billion of Indonesia’s national economy. The impact of FMD is especially meaningful to small producers as it threatens their livelihood and food security. In the case of Indonesia, the most severe impact is felt by small-scale farmers, who make up the majority (90%) of the cattle industry in Indonesia (Jakarta Post, 2022a and Beazley, 2022). Indonesian cattle farmers are worried about the threat to their business amid the recent outbreaks of FMD[1].

 

Economic losses for livestock business activities are mainly due to lost productivity in the reduction of milk production (25% per year), decreasing growth rate of beef cattle (10-20%), lost labor (60-70%), declining fertility (10%) and slowing of pregnancy, dropping child mortality (20-40%), and culling of chronically infected livestock (Ristiani, 2022). Moreover, supply chain disruptions occur due to restrictions on livestock traffic.

 

The government of Indonesia carries out serious efforts to control FMD. It is challenging since the country has been free from FMD for about 36 years. Hence, this paper aims to discuss the current issue of FMD and its control measure policy in Indonesia. It initially outlines the present issues of FMD followed by implemented control measure policy. Finally, it provides a conclusion and recommendations for controlling this disease in the country.

 

 

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

 

Global case of FMD

FMD (Figure 1) is an endemic disease in most of the world, such as in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Asia. World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) or Office International des Epizooties (OIE) listed FMD-free zone countries based on Resolutions Number 16 and 17 of 2016 (Table 1). According to this resolution, Indonesia was one of 67 countries that fall into the "free country without vaccination" category. Excluding Indonesia, FMD was endemic in most ASEAN member countries, such as Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (peninsula), Myanmar, the Philippines (northern part), Thailand, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, eastern Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), southern Philippines (Mindanao, Visayas, and Mambate), Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam are FMD-free areas (DGLAH, 2022a).

Due to the longer virus survival rates in temperate areas, indirect transmission through fomites may be as important as direct contact between infected and susceptible animals. Under tropical conditions, the movement of potentially infected animals and livestock trading patterns are the main factors influencing the spread of FMD (Sieng, et.al., 2021). Hence, the priority for FMD-free countries is to avoid introducing the virus.

FMD case in Indonesia

Indonesia has experienced several outbreaks of FMD since the disease was first reported in Malang, East Java province, around 1887 through cattle imports from the Netherlands. It subsequently spread to other regions of the country, such as Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan (Leestyawati, 2022). The last FMD outbreak occurred on the island of Java in 1983 and was eradicated through a mass vaccination program. Indonesia was declared an FMD-free country in 1986, and in 1990, Indonesia succeeded in gaining world recognition for its FMD-free status without vaccination, as stated in WOAH Resolution Number 11/1990 after WOAH, FAO/APHCA, and ASEAN sent a team to evaluate the status of FMD in the country (DGLAH, 2022a). The member countries of WOAH that have officially recognized animal health status (free of FMD without vaccination) must confirm annually that their status has not changed (Naipospos, 2021). It notes that up to 2003, Indonesia had succeeded in eradicating the FMD outbreak through zoning based. The alteration from country based to zoning based has made Indonesia achieve international appreciation from WOAH.

After 36 years of free status, FMD recently reappeared in Indonesia starting in May 2022. Based on field reports of 17 May 2022, FMD has so far spread to 13,810,749 heads of livestock in 52 districts/cities of 15 provinces in Indonesia (Table 2). About 0.36% (13,965 heads) confirmed positive FMD based on the laboratory's Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Two provinces (Bangka Belitung and Aceh) were recorded as having the greatest extent of FMD cases, i.e., 12.53% and 11.88% of the total infected population, respectively. Above all, the number of FMD cases was found on Java Island, 5,024 heads out of 2,852,425 heads of the total infected population. The majority was in East Java province the first location of an FMD case in Indonesia.

The map of FMD cases-based districts/cities in Indonesia can be seen in Figure 2. Of the 52 districts/cities affected by FMD, the highest cases were in East Java province (28.85%) and Central Java (23.08%). It was followed by West Java and West Sumatra, i.e., 9.62%, respectively.

Based on the latest data on 5 August 2022, at least 23 provinces in Indonesia have been infected by FMD. The number of livestock infected by FMD was recorded at 464,279 heads (Figure 3). The highest infected were beef cattle (82%) and dairy cows (14%). East Java still recorded the highest number of cases, namely 174,298 heads. It notes that Indonesia has succeeded in controlling the transmission of the FMD virus by carrying out various efforts through the implementation of a control measure policy.

CONTROL MEASURE POLICY

FMD is a disease that must be reported to the World Animal Health Organization (WOAH) since it is the most important disease for ruminants and the biggest threat to livestock development in Indonesia. This disease has the potential to enter and spread as well as cause huge economic losses for the country. It must be technically perceived as a unified whole, in which only the phase of the presence of the disease can distinguish it (DGLAH, 2022a). Therefore, Indonesia is maximally trying to suppress the spread of FMD by implementing main steps as a gradually and continually multilevel strategy aimed at limiting the spread of the epidemic and protecting borders among regions within the country and between countries (Table 3).

According to DGLAH (2022a), there are two strategies of control measure policies for FMD. They are:

  1.  General strategy: it is related to the control measure policy for FMD that should consider the case definition based on diagnostic procedures. According to WOAH, an FMD case is the presence of FMD virus infection in animals, either in the form of with or without clinical symptoms. As a result, the objectives of the control measure policy for FMD are to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible in infected and outbreak areas and to prevent large losses in an integrated manner. These involve (1) Closing infected areas affected by the epidemic; (2) Restricting animal traffic; (3) Isolating suspected sick animals; (4) Handling sick animals; (4) Exterminating carcasses; (5) Eradicating animal diseases; (6) Depopulating animal population; (7) Conducting communication, information, and education; and (8) Implementing the incident control system.
  2. Eradication strategy: it aims at preventing: (1) Contact between infected animals/sources of infection with FMD susceptible animals; (2) Production of large amounts of the virus by infected animals; and (3) Indirect spread of the virus by humans and mechanical spread. These can be achieved through stamping out strategy with quarantine and traffic control measures and the rapid establishment of disease-free areas/zones following predetermined standard operating procedures. The detailed descriptions are as follows: (1) Stamping out; (2) Quarantine measures and traffic control of animals and their products; (3) Treatment of infected animals as well as animal products and by-products; (4) Vaccination; (5) Tracking and surveillance; (6) Decontamination; (7) Control of wild animals; and (8) Media and public relations.

At least there are certainly implemented control measure policies for FMD cases in Indonesia. Among other things, they include: (1) Decree of the Head of National Disaster Mitigation Agency Number 47/2022 on Determination of Emergency Status for FMD; (2) Circular Letter of the Minister of Agriculture Number 1/2022 on Control and Management of FMD in Livestock; (3) Decree of the Minister of Agriculture Number 405/2022 on Task Force for FMD; and (4) Decree of the Director General of Livestock and Animal Health Services Number 5429//2022 on Standard Operating Procedures for Control and Management of Outbreaks of FMD.

Decree of Head of National Disaster Mitigation Agency Number 47/2022 on Determination of Emergency Status of FMD in Indonesia

Even though FMD is not a threat to humans, it would potentially devastate the national economy. Consequently, the government of Indonesia has declared emergency status for this disease. Every party should pay attention to the occurrence and mitigation of FMD in the country.    

Based on the decree of the Head of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA) Number 47/2022 (NDMA, 2022c), the government of Indonesia determines the emergency status of FMD. It encompasses the following points, namely: (1) Determination of the emergency status of FMD carried out following the provisions of laws and regulations; (2) Heads of regional governments can determine and accelerate the implementation of FMD cases in their respective regions; and (3) All costs incurred as a result of the stipulation of this decree shall be borne by the state budget, ready-to-use funds available at NDMA, and other legal and non-binding sources of financing following the provisions of laws and regulations. This decree shall come into force on the date of stipulation until 31 December 2022, provided that if in the future there are errors, corrections will be made accordingly.

Circular Letter of the Minister of Agriculture Number 1/2022 on Control and Management of FMD in Livestock

FMD potentially impacts Indonesia's self-reliance, security, and sovereignty of food programs. Apart from that, this disease would harm the state due to restrictions on the trade of animals and their products, including export and import. Therefore, the country should be aware of the threat of transmission and spread of FMD by taking necessary action-based contingency plans in efforts to prepare and control FMD.

The Circular Letter of the Ministry of Agriculture Number 1/2022 contains several points. They are: (1) Organization; (2) Management; (3) Implementation of FMD control, quarantine, and reproductive optimization activities; (4) Financing; and (5) Reporting (MoA, 2022a).

Decree of the Minister of Agriculture Number 405/2022 on Task Force for FMD

The objective of this decree is to provide direction for controlling FMD towards mitigating animal health and environmental risks and their effects on economics, socio-cultural, and public relations aspects. A summary of this decree can be seen in Table 4.

Decree of the Director General of Livestock and Animal Health Services Number 5429//2022 on Standard Operating Procedures for Control and Management of Outbreaks of FMD

This decree contains the standard operating procedures for controlling and preventing FMD outbreaks in Indonesia. It is a basis for stakeholders at the central, provincial, and district/city levels, animal health officers, business actors, livestock employees, and farmers to carry out efforts to control and overcome the outbreaks of FMD in Indonesia.

The decree is effective from the date of stipulation (25 May 2022). The costs required shall be borne by the Budget Execution Lists (DIPA) of the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Service, the Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBD), and other budgetary sources under the provisions of the Legislative Law. The standard operating procedures in this decree are as follows:

  1. Biosecurity implementations for: (a) Livestock market; (b) Animal processing unit-based hygiene and sanitation; (c) Large ruminant farming companies, small ruminants, and pigs; (d) Center for livestock breed (Artificial Insemination Research Institute and Livestock Embryo Research Institute); (e) Central/regional nursery technical implementation units; (f) Large ruminants, small ruminants, and pigs at villages or FMD-free locations in infected areas; (g) Mode of transportation by land, sea, and air; and (h) Ruminant animals feed factory.
  2. Preventions of the spreads of FMD in palm cattle integration area, green fodder, and pasture area.
  3. Handling of sick animals detected by FMD in: (a) Infected areas; (b) Free areas; (c) Feedlots and livestock companies; (d) Dairy storage business units; and (e) Breeding technical implementation units.
  4. Profiling of “free” villages in FMD-infected areas.
  5. FMD emergency vaccination for vulnerable livestock and FMD vulnerable animal services at the animal health center.
  6. Performing qurban (Islamic ritual sacrifice).
  7. Animal killing and conditional withholding.
  8. Antemortem and postmortem examination at slaughterhouses, as well as lymphoglandular separation, withering, and bone separation.
  9. Presence of officers in the implementation of handling reproductive disorders and its services related to artificial insemination, pregnancy test, natural matting, and birth. 
  10. Submission of outbreak determination by the regional head to the minister.

The basic principle of control measure policy implementation to FMD is related to the veterinary emergency preparedness for the outbreak. It acquires information/reports of suspected cases quickly at the first opportunity so that as much as possible, there is no further contact between the FMD virus and sensitive animals, and then measures are taken to stop the spread of viral infection and carry out disease eradication (DGLAH, 2022a).

Routine active clinical and serological surveillance activities based on epidemiological principles must be carried out, in addition to public awareness activities, quarantine and supervision of animal traffic, animal products, and all media that can transmit disease, eliminating sources of infection by exterminating infected animals, and animals exposed (stamping out), and decontamination of cages, equipment, vehicles and other materials that may transmit disease; and disposal of contaminated materials.

The activity stages of control measure policy implementation to FMD in Indonesia involve: (1) Village reporters, farmers, and communities who work voluntarily in reporting clinical symptoms of FMD to veterinary services (animal health center and integrated animal health information system); (2) Veterinary officers of animal health center; (3) Provincial and district/city veterinary authority officials; (4) Veterinary research institutions; and (5) Directorate of animal health. It employs the following stages:

  1. Investigation stage
  2. carry out initial investigation activities to report suspected cases of FMD outbreaks.
  3. o investigate the suspected outbreaks and reduce the risk of spreading the FMD.
  4. Preparedness stage
  5. conduct a continually advanced investigation stage based on the results of the evaluation and verification of clinical symptoms and the initial epidemiological investigation of the diagnostic team on the reported cases lead to a very strong case of FMD.

Objective: to confirm that the suspected outbreak is with laboratory diagnostic tests, to reduce the risk of spreading, and to prepare for overall outbreak response in the context of FMD emergencies.

  1. Operational stage

Description: undertake activities after the laboratory results with the fastest test show that the reported disease case has been confirmed by the research institutions with positive FMD.

Objective: to implement a full response, including communication, surveillance, quarantine/movement control, culling/decontamination, disposal with/without vaccination, and other related matters to FMD emergencies.

  1. Recovery stage
  2. confirm the FMD outbreaks can be eradicated, or FMD-free status can be regained, or the outbreak cannot be eradicated, and the disease situation becomes endemic in the country.

Objective: to recover the affected livestock productions, processing industries, and trades, as well as to restore public/market confidence concerning the FMD case.

The recovery stage is essential to reduce activities in infected and threatened areas and get back to controlled positions. In other words, all resources can be reduced gradually. Moreover, to obtain the recognition of FMD-free status, a formal report is required to the WOAH that describes in detail the program for eradication, surveillance, and monitoring of the animal health infrastructure and the organization of the livestock industry.

The flow of activity stages of control measure started from suspected cases followed by investigation, preparedness, operational, and recovery stages in line with possible criteria of FMD. These are conducted by institutional-authorized veterinaries. Each activity can be set aside (no follow-up activity) if there is no occurrence case in the field.    

The main strategy of control measure policy to FMD case in Indonesia should be implemented through stamping out with a zoning system so that other non-infected areas are maintained free, and trade in these free areas can continue. The implementation of stamping out; however, requires a cash compensation fee required by the standard prices prevailing in the market (DGLAH, 2022a).

According to Law Number 41/2014 on Livestock and Animal Health (GoI, 2014), the government does not provide compensation for depopulation actions (including acts of culling/stamping out) of animals that are positive for animal diseases. Compensation is only given to people with healthy animals that are depopulated. Stamping out is difficult because animal owners do not want to report suspected disease and tend to hide it by moving them out of the infected area so that there is a high risk of spreading the disease. Therefore, vaccination is the main strategy that is rationally implemented and comprehensively accompanied by all other eradication strategies. It is supported by the implementation of permanent identification for vaccinated animals. During the vaccination program, strict animal traffic control and strict supervision of slaughtering animals and the traffic of animal products must be carried out.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Conclusion

Even though FMD does not affect humans, there is no risk to food safety related to consuming products from animals infected with this disease. The possibility of FMD entry into FMD-free countries, including Indonesia, is quite high, considering that more than a hundred countries in the world are still endemically infected with FMD.

FMD can quickly spread after transporting infected livestock and products that cause huge economic losses. The risk of FMD for countries free from the disease has increased due to the increased global movement and trade of livestock and livestock products. Therefore, controlling this disease is quite difficult, complex, and costly.

As an archipelagic country, Indonesia consists of thousands of islands and large and small ports, making it prone to smuggling livestock and materials from certain origins. Apart from that, the country is still heavily reliant on imports of live cattle and beef. The government of Indonesia is currently aiming for self-sufficiency in beef to maintain domestic price stability, make beef more affordable to consumers, and support the livelihoods of local farmers. Consequently, the case of FMD can potentially disturb the national livestock development.

The implementation of the control measure policy to FMD has been carried out through certain development platforms and stages. Although FMD might be primarily justified based on social and economic perspectives, Indonesia should be cautious in protecting its livestock and import policies.

The presence of FMD creates problems for all livestock owners in populations where the disease is present. This connection may be geographical or via market chains. Therefore, FMD creates “externalities”, if an outbreak occurs because one farmer did not protect his livestock, then others may also suffer the consequences. There is a need to provide investments and implement cost-benefit analysis for the livestock sector in Indonesia, particularly for smallholders. It is necessary to consider the possibility of sharing funding among the central government, local governments, and the private sector through a “cost-sharing agreement” to implement a control measure policy for FMD in Indonesia. Simultaneously, it is necessary to massively campaign about FMD for society so that they are always aware of the impact of this virus in their daily lives. 

Recommendations

Responding to the urgency of action to solve the FMD outbreak, the following are appropriate policy recommendations for Indonesia.

  1. The Ministry of Agriculture through the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health established a Task Force for Animal Health Posts. Animal Health Posts should be applied at the level of every sub-district in every provincial district. The function of the Task Force focuses on stopping the spread of the virus that causes FMD through quarantine measures, surveillance, and restrictions on livestock traffic, as well as closing the contaminated animal market. Through the Animal Health Post, biosecurity standards apply by decontaminating cages, equipment, vehicles, and other materials that have the potential to transmit viruses. This action is carried out by spraying a disinfectant solution that is effective against viruses and the destruction of materials that have been contaminated.
  2. Increasing the immunity of livestock that are susceptible to contracting FMD through mass vaccination programs and carrying out mitigation efforts in areas that have not been infected in the form of surveillance and the formation of early vigilance and disease resilience.
  3. The application of a zone-based biosecurity system. Indonesia has a geographical structure as an archipelagic country; islands separated by sea should function as borders for the spread of disease.
  4. Developing digital traceability system to increase the business management efficiency of livestock productivity and to achieve the free status of FMD in Indonesia. This can be initially recommended in the dairy cattle industry involving farmers, cooperatives, milk processing industries, and other related stakeholders. 

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[1] According to the Indonesian Cattle and Buffalo Breeders Association, farmers lost about US$ 682 for each animal put down after infection with the FMD. It was estimated that this disease caused damage due to cattle weight loss at US$ 136 per head (Jakarta Post, 2022b). 

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