Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a major animal health problem within Southeast Asia (SEA). Although Indonesia and more recently the Philippines have achieved freedom from FMD, the disease remains endemic on continental SEA. Control of FMD within SEA would increase access to markets in more developed economies and reduce lost productivity in smallholder and emerging commercial farmer settings. However, despite many years of vaccination by individual countries, numerous factors have prevented the successful control of FMD within the region, including unregulated ‘informal’ transboundary movement of livestock and their products, difficulties implementing vaccination programmes, emergence of new virus topotypes and lineages, low-level technical capacity and biosecurity at national levels, limited farmer knowledge on FMD disease recognition, failure of timely outbreak reporting and response, and limitations in national and international FMD control programmes. This paper examines the published research of FMD in the SEA region, reviewing the history, virology, epidemiology and control programmes and identifies future opportunities for FMD research aimed at the eventual eradication of FMD from the region.