Tourism ban to Indonesia called for by Australian farmers to stop foot-and-mouth disease

Aussie farmers call for immediate 120 day BAN on tourism to Indonesia and Bali as foot-and-mouth disease threatens to wipe out billion-dollar industry

  • Farmers take to the streets to call on government to stop Indonesian travel
  • Colac farmers called for a 120-day ban on all non-essential travel to Indonesia
  • Fragments of foot and mouth disease was recently found in Melbourne

A chorus of Australian farmers are calling for tourism to Indonesia to be shut down immediately as foot-and-mouth disease threatens to wipe out the billion-dollar export industry. 

The illness which affects cattle, pigs, goats and sheep was detected in the southeast Asian nation in May before spreading to the party island of Bali in June.

Livestock owners fear travellers carrying the disease on their clothing or footwear are at risk of spreading foot-and-mouth disease Down Under.

More than 100 farmers in the Victorian town of Colac took to the streets on Wednesday calling on the federal government to implement a 120-day ban on all non-essential travel to the neighbouring country.

The ‘Rally for Response’ event was organised by fourth-generation dairy farmer Peter Delahunty who delivered a speech urging leaders to slam the borders shut and send more aid to Indonesia.

The illness which affects cattle, pigs, goats and sheep was detected in the southeast Asian nation in May before spreading to the party island of Bali in June. Pictured: Bali Airport

The illness which affects cattle, pigs, goats and sheep was detected in the southeast Asian nation in May before spreading to the party island of Bali in June. Pictured: Bali Airport

In the Victorian town of Colac around 120 farmers and locals took to the streets calling on the federal government to implement a 120-day ban on non-essential travel to and from Indonesia

In the Victorian town of Colac around 120 farmers and locals took to the streets calling on the federal government to implement a 120-day ban on non-essential travel to and from Indonesia

What is foot and mouth disease?

– It is a highly infectious and contagious ‘zoonotic’ disease that infects cattle, sheep, pigs, goat and deer with blisters, they also drool and limp

– The meat of infected animals is not safe to eat 

– Exports from any country with infection are banned

– Milk production stops as humans can catch the disease from drinking milk

– Healthy animals must be killed and burned inside a quarantine zone

– The disease was detected in Indonesia in May 2022 and has spread to Bali

– People can spread the disease from contact with animals including on shoes, thongs and luggage

– The estimated threat to the Australian economy is $80billion

– Over six million cattle had to be destroyed during an outbreak in the UK in 2001 

 

Advertisement

‘That gives us time to assist Indonesia in getting on top the foot-and-mouth outbreak up there,’ said Mr Delahunty.

‘Our government has promised $14million in help to Indonesia and that would seem to us to be a very small amount when you compare it to the potential loss of an $80billion export industry that we have in agriculture in Australia.

‘We think the government could do a lot more in working with the Indonesians both in coin and in getting on top of the foot and mouth disease they have up there.’

Mr Delahunty, who runs a heard of about 300 cattle, said the policymakers should be investing closer to $100 million to help farmers on Australia’s doorstep battle the disease.

He also referred to the governments response as reactionary rather than well thought out.

Indonesia has been grappling with the spread of the disease which was recently detected in Bali – a popular holiday destination for Australian travellers. 

Livestock owners fear travellers carrying the disease on their clothing or footwear are at risk of spreading foot-and-mouth disease Down Under. Pictured: Seminyak, Bali

Livestock owners fear travellers carrying the disease on their clothing or footwear are at risk of spreading foot-and-mouth disease Down Under. Pictured: Seminyak, Bali

Last week fragments of the disease and African swine fever were detected in pork products, believed to be imported from China, at a Melbourne retailer

Last week fragments of the disease and African swine fever were detected in pork products, believed to be imported from China, at a Melbourne retailer

Last week fragments of the disease and African swine fever were detected in pork products, believed to be imported from China, at a Melbourne retailer.

It was the first time viral fragments have been detected in a retail setting.

Senator Murray Watt said an immediate three-day standstill on livestock movements would be implemented if the disease entered Australia.

Pictured: Peter Delahunty

Pictured: Peter Delahunty

‘The reason this would be such a devastating blow is that the rest of the world would treat Australia as having foot and mouth disease, which would pretty much shut down our livestock export industry overnight,’ he told the ABC.

‘But there is a comprehensive plan that’s been developed over a number of years between federal and state governments about how we manage outbreaks (including) movement controls.’

A $14million biosecurity package to Indonesia was announced by the government for more frontline defences in airports and mail centres as well as support for Indonesia and neighbouring countries to combat the spread.

One of the main measures includes 18 new biosecurity officers to be stationed at Australian airports and mail centres and biosecurity detector dogs reintroduced to Darwin and Cairns airports.

What happens if just ONE case of foot and mouth disease hits Australia: Minister details the ‘devastating blow’ that would hammer the country and force COWS into lockdown

By Ben Talintyre and Peter Vincent for Daily Mail Australia and AAP

A single case of foot and mouth disease could halt Australia’s export industry overnight, the agriculture minister has warned.

Murray Watt on Wednesday announced further biosecurity measures after viral fragments of the disease and African swine fever were detected in pork products, believed to be imported from China, at a Melbourne retailer.

It’s the first time viral fragments have been detected in a retail setting, Senator Watt said.

Mr Watt said an immediate three-day standstill on livestock movements would be implemented if the disease entered Australia.

‘The reason this would be such a devastating blow is that the rest of the world would treat Australia as having foot and mouth disease, which would pretty much shut down our livestock export industry overnight,’ he told the ABC.

‘But there is a comprehensive plan that’s been developed over a number of years between federal and state governments about how we manage outbreaks  (including) movement controls.’

Murray Watt (pictured) announced further biosecurity measures after viral fragments of the disease and African swine fever were detected in pork products at a Melbourne retailer

Murray Watt (pictured) announced further biosecurity measures after viral fragments of the disease and African swine fever were detected in pork products at a Melbourne retailer

A single case of foot-and-mouth disease could stop Australia's export industry. Watt said a three-day cow lockdown would be implemented if the disease were to reach Australia

A single case of foot-and-mouth disease could stop Australia’s export industry. Watt said a three-day cow lockdown would be implemented if the disease were to reach Australia

A compensation scheme would also be put in place, the minister said.

‘But as much as we are thinking about what we would do if the outbreak gets here, my number one focus at the moment is making sure it never gets here,’ Senator Watt said.

‘I feel very confident that Australia’s world-leading biosecurity system stands us in very good stead to resist this outbreak arriving.’

An outbreak could cost the economy up to $80billion and affect most Australians by raising the prices of everything from a morning coffee to a takeaway burger and the weekly grocery shop.

The detection comes as sanitation mats are set to be rolled out at international airports in an effort to stop the disease entering Australia on travellers shoes.

Indonesia has been grappling with the spread of the disease which was recently detected in Bali, a popular holiday destination for Australian travellers.

Sanitation mats are set to be rolled out at international airports in an effort to stop foot and mouth disease entering Australia on travellers' shoes

Sanitation mats are set to be rolled out at international airports in an effort to stop foot and mouth disease entering Australia on travellers’ shoes

Senator Watt said the mats would add another layer of defence against an outbreak.

But Australians returning from the region [Bali and Indonesia] should still clean their shoes and clothing, or leave their footwear overseas if possible, he said.

‘There is no biosecurity silver bullet,’ Senator Watt said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘Our biosecurity controls rely on a multi-layered approach to mitigate the risk of FMD (foot and mouth disease).’

The mats will be rolled out this week, starting at Darwin and Cairns airports.

They are intended to be a physical reminder to travellers about the risk of the disease, Senator Watt said.

The mats contain a citric acid solution, designed to dislodge any dirt from the sole of the shoe and cover it in the acid.

Other biosecurity measures include passenger declarations, profiling of all travellers entering from Indonesia, real time risk assessments, questioning and shoe cleaning.

The $14million biosecurity package was announced by the government last week for more frontline defences in airports and mail centres as well as support for Indonesia and neighbouring countries to combat the spread.

But there has already been criticism the measures don’t go far enough, with calls for travellers to face severe consequences for not telling the truth on travel documents. 

One of the main measures includes 18 new biosecurity officers to be stationed at Australian airports and mail centres and biosecurity detector dogs reintroduced to Darwin and Cairns airports.

Source

Related posts