HEADED overseas? Travellers are urged to remain vigilant against Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), particularly if travelling to and from Indonesia.
In May, FMD was detected in cattle in Indonesia and has since spread to Bali, a popular holiday destination for Australians.
Greater Shepparton mayor, Cr Shane Sali said the incursion of FMD into Australia would be devastating for the livestock industry.
“Agriculture is one of Greater Shepparton’s top five industries for employment and accounts for the greater part of $566 million in output. Foot and Mouth Disease would affect the meat processing, milk and wool industries with cattle, sheep, pigs and goats all impacted,” he said.
“The awful reality of this disease is that milk and meat production, trading and transportation of these products would need to stop, and animals would need to be euthanised to control the disease. It would mean incredible hardship for primary producers whose livelihoods would be impacted.”
Cr Sali urged locals travelling to Bali to take care on their return.
“We can all do our bit if returning from Bali. It’s not worth the huge risk to Australia’s agriculture industry to keep those pair of thongs.”
“Make sure you disinfect all clothing when you get back and stay away from rural and agricultural areas if you are on holiday in Indonesia,” said Cr Sali. “It can also survive in frozen, chilled and freeze-dried foods, which is why we should never bring food into Australia from overseas.”
The biggest economic implication of an Australian case would be producers losing access to global export markets, potentially for years, until the disease is contained and eradicated. Biosecurity measures are in place with producers asking those returning from Indonesia to not visit rural or farming properties within seven days of returning to Australia.
For more information, visit https://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/pests-diseases-weeds/animal/fmd