Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has been confirmed in cattle in Indonesia.

The Ministry of Agriculture for Indonesia have reported outbreaks of FMD serotype O in two provinces on the islands of Sumatra and Java.

The last reported outbreak of FMD in Indonesia was in 1983.

The first suspected outbreaks of FMD was reported on April 28 in cattle on village premises near the second-largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya.

Further cases were reported on May 1 and May 3.

This was the first report to of FMD in the region, although it is endemic in neighbouring countries in mainland South-East Asia.

The source of the outbreak is suspected to be illegal imports of live animals.

A spokesperson for Defra said: "The re-emergence of foot and mouth disease virus in an area with FMD-free status (without vaccination) is always of great concern.

"The events highlight how this virus can still make significant and unexpected jumps, often through trade and movements of people, animals and animal products, and therefore there is a need for continued vigilance."

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Indonesia is not currently considered a major trade partner of the UK, and the majority of animal products imported relate to fish.

Since January 2021, there have been only three reported consignments of products of animal origin from other species, which were consignments of butter from cattle.

Nevertheless, Defra says that there is still a risk of entry of FMD in products of animal origin from affected countries via other pathways, including from illegal imports, including from Indonesia.

Travellers from Asia and other third country areas that bring meat or dairy products face prosecution and a large fine.

Defra has not changed the risk level for the UK, keeping it at 'low'.

UK trade partners in the region, such as Australia, will be concerned about FMD reports in a neighbouring country, particularly considering the large volumes of Australian tourists that visit parts of Indonesia, such as Bali, who could bring the infectious objects into the country.

The Australian government has suspended import permits for some animal products from Indonesia, and is providing financial assistance to Indonesia for a suitable FMD vaccine.

Defra is reminding farmers in the UK of the importance of maintaining strict on-farm biosecurity, compliance with the swill feeding ban, and the reporting of all suspicions of notifiable disease promptly.