Screening mail and using foot mats: Fighting to keep FMD out

ABOVE: Farmers should be aware of the symptoms of FMD. Photo: Department of Agriculture

Viral fragments of foot and mouth disease (FMD) were found in pork floss which had been imported from China last week.

All mail from Indonesia and China is now being screened for meat products as part of keeping Australia FMD-free.

Also, passengers arriving in Australia on flights from Indonesia will start using sanitisation foot mats this week.

It is important to remember that these foot mats are not a silver bullet to keep FMD out of Australia but provide another layer of protection to measures already imposed.

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said it wasn’t hard to make the right declarations when coming back from Bali and our $80 billion agriculture industry relied on people doing the right thing.

“We believe the greater risk of FMD getting into Australia is via incorrectly or illegally labelled meat products from overseas.

“We have now increased our surveillance of mail from Indonesia and China so that every parcel is screened and so we can identify any potential biosecurity risks.”

Australia’s border remains open to Indonesia. The FMD virus has not been detected in Australia for more than 100 years. The highly contagious disease affects hoofed animals.

If your livestock are showing signs of foot-and-mouth disease, immediately call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888

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