Agriculture officials will be testing Australia’s capability to stop a potential outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among affected livestock.

Australia’s preparedness to contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among affected livestock will be tested in nationwide exercises.

The Department of Agriculture will conduct a series of exercises – codenamed Odysseus – throughout the year aimed at stopping the movement of diseased livestock in a scenario based on an outbreak in Queensland.

It’s aimed at assessing how well industry and government can communicate on, coordinate and implement a national livestock standstill for 72 hours.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the exercise won’t be easy given the volume of livestock and their daily movements across the country.

But it will be crucial in stifling the impact of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which could cost the economy up to $52 billion over a decade.

“The quicker we could stamp it out, the less impact there would be at the farm gate,” Minister Joyce said.