“We have kept Australia FMD free for more than 130 years, but it is now on our doorstep and we all have a role to play to keep our industry safe,” Mr Toole said.
“The message to travellers is simple: if you’re heading to Bali or somewhere that may have been affected by FMD for a holiday – or know someone who is – please do the right thing when you return to Australia. That means declaring where you’ve been, making sure any clothes and shoes you bring in are clean and free from soil and manure, avoiding encounters with livestock on your travels and staying away from farms or anywhere there might be livestock for seven days when you get home.
“Now is not the time for complacency – one dirty pair of shoes could devastate an entire industry.”
Mr Toole said the NSW Government welcomed moves by the Commonwealth to increase biosecurity measures on incoming flights from Indonesia but was keen to see biosecurity ramped up further.
“We’ve put a number of ideas on the table, including increased luggage screening, the decontamination of equipment and shoes for all returning travellers from high-risk parts of Indonesia, more detector dogs at Sydney International Airport, and a targeted advertising campaign that urges travellers to avoid contact with NSW livestock and facilities for five to seven days upon their return.
“We all need to work together – governments, industry and the community – to keep Australia FMD-free.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders (left) said the NSW Government has been working hard to bolster biosecurity to keep the agricultural sector safe, with record investment to drive active surveillance, rapid diagnostics and effective traceability systems to monitor, track and respond to threats.
“Biosecurity has been my top priority since becoming Agriculture Minister,” Mr Saunders said.
“An incursion of Foot and Mouth Disease would have severe consequences for Australia’s animal health and trade. Significant economic losses would be felt, with restrictions being placed on both domestic and international markets for live animals, meat and animal products.
“An uncontrolled outbreak could lead to the immediate closure of our meat export markets, and control costs have been estimated at more than $80 billion.”
Mr Saunders said while Australia has an internationally recognised capability to deal quickly and effectively with emergency animal disease outbreaks – including the large outbreak of equine influenza in 2007 and the outbreaks of avian influenza in 2012 and 2013 – primary producers must know what to be on the lookout for when it comes to protecting their livestock.
“We’re encouraging primary producers to engage in detailed contingency planning, to be overly cautious with people who come into contact with their livestock and monitor closely for signs of FMD which include blisters in and around the mouth area, drooling and limping,” he said.
“I have requested the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services ramp up their work with farmers to recognise the signs of Foot and Mouth Disease in their stock.
“If livestock exhibit any unusual signs consistent with FMD, they must be reported immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.”
FMD affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, deer and pigs. It can be carried by live animals as well as in residual soil left on shoes, clothing and equipment.
For more information on Foot and Mouth Disease, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries FMD page here.
Instead of spending time and money on dealing with what to do, not if, but when the diseases hit us, do this to stop them getting it in the first place. Stop, or at the very least control any and all arrivals from Bali. Foot baths and scrutinize all luggage!!
My Partner back from Bali Yesterday Washed and Disinfected shoes etc as she and family fully understand situation Farmers in Bali walk streets
Most tourists in Bali hardly know where meat comes from Etc Passengers sign form to say haven’t been on farms or near livestock NO checks at Bali on Boarding NO checks Adelaide Why can’t we have carpet like sponge to walk through with absolute security making this compulsory Ask what happened and how quick this Travelled in the UK with bonfires burning their cattle we haven’t a chance with our vast uncontrolled Kangaroos Buffalo animals etc It’s only a matter of time
Government get real
Three cheers for the NSW Deputy Premier and the NSW Minister for Agriculture, who can see the potential disaster which FMD represents. It is both unbelievable and inexcusable that the federal response is not more proactive, opting instead to hide behind briefings which lean more towards reporting than preventing incursion.
A Very important message, but! Here we go again. States and Territories following the old worn Covid-19 advice pathways. Can anyone just follow a National approach on this please. Enough peak bodies to get a single song sheet by now surely?