The livestock industry and the federal government are allocating $5 million for the research on foot and mouth disease overseas, rather than importing the live virus.

The research involves a team of scientists from CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory and will be carried out in countries like South Africa, Argentina and Vietnam.

In an effort to better prepare the industry in case of a domestic outbreak, the scientists will study foot and mouth vaccines for use in the Australian livestock.

Australian-based foot and mouth research is controversial, as there are many livestock groups that oppose any importation of the virus.

The opposition is triggered as South Korea reportedly is battling with a foot and mouth disease outbreak, with the country declaring a mass cull of animals as the virus spreads to more farms.