Is the Foot and Mouth Disease Edging Closer to Australia?

By Hari Yellina
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A livestock disease that has spread to Bali threatens to shut down Australia’s meat and animal trade, prompting calls for stricter border controls for travellers leaving from the well-known vacation resort. Over the weekend, it was verified that on the Indonesian Island, at least 60 cows had tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The virus would have a serious impact on the country’s animal commerce and animal health because it affects cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. Australia has not yet experienced this extremely contagious disease.

The illness was found in livestock in Indonesia in May, but due to the large number of Australian tourists who travel to Bali, the discovery of FMD in cattle puts Australia at higher danger. To assist stem the spread of the disease, Dr. Ainsworth recommended making modifications at Australia’s borders right now, such as making it essential for travellers returning from Bali to Australia to have their shoes cleaned. Additionally, he wants travellers who are returning to be “more carefully questioned” about whether they have visited a farm. He claimed that one of the most contagious illnesses was foot and mouth.

According to him, FMD has been found in three districts, including one on the north coast of Singaraja and two to the north and east of Denpasar. A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) stated that Indonesian officials were being asked for an update. Although the representative said that airport staff was “working with greater vigilance across all planes arriving from Indonesia,” she did not specify whether extra security procedures will be implemented. “Australia has rigorous biosecurity rules in place to prevent high-risk materials from being brought in by travellers who may have been exposed to infected animals, such as contaminated tools or clothing, animals, and animal products. “All travellers from Indonesia are subject to the same biosecurity inspections.”


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