A campaign launched in Queensland to raise awareness of the enormous harm an outbreak of foot and mouth disease could cause to the livestock industry and wider economy has triggered an overwhelming response.
Online videos on disease identification and prevention have already been viewed more than 80,000 times.
Queensland agriculture minister Leanne Donaldson said she wanted to thank all livestock producers and people involved food production and the supply chain for taking the time to learn more about FMD.
“There is no doubt that the disease is the most serious biosecurity risk we face in terms of the potential to damage livelihoods and our international reputation,” Ms Donaldson said.
“Experts estimate that a major outbreak in Australia would cost more than $52 billion over 10 years.
“No-one should underestimate the threat or question the need for constant vigilance.”
An outbreak would result in the mass destruction of cattle and other cloven animals, and an export ban on meat products and live animals.
In addition to spreading the message through the videos, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has mailed a range of printed materials – guides, brochures and fact sheets – to more than 27,000 addresses.
The campaign has been supported by local government and peak industry bodies.
“As Minister for Agriculture, I am very encouraged by the positive response.
“I am urging all those who work in the livestock industry and food supply chain to take the free online awareness course.
“The course takes about 40 minutes to complete and is a key element in strengthening our defences against the devastating disease.”
To course can be found at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au/fmd