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Australian senator calls for Covid-level restrictions on Bali travellers over foot and mouth fears

Calls are growing for an immediate travel ban to Bali, or at least Covid restrictions on travelers, as fears that a contagious disease rampant in Indonesia could have ‘apocalyptic’ consequences for Australian farmers.

Calls for travel bans come as farmers speak out about Australians’ exposure to foot-and-mouth disease, which could lead to the mass slaughter of animals, cost $80 billion and sharply increase the cost of groceries.

Although the disease is theoretically transferable to humans – especially through drinking milk – this is rare. The biggest impact, however, is a devastating threat to livestock, farmers, consumers and the economy at large.

The disease affects cattle, sheep, goats and pigs and has serious consequences for animal health.

A grazer from southern NSW called for an ‘immediate ban’ on travel to or from Bali.

Calls for an immediate travel ban to Bali, or at least Covid restrictions on travelers, are mounting as fears a contagious disease rampant in Indonesia could have 'apocalyptic' consequences for Australian farmers

Calls for an immediate travel ban to Bali, or at least Covid restrictions on travelers, are mounting as fears a contagious disease rampant in Indonesia could have ‘apocalyptic’ consequences for Australian farmers

North Queensland Senator Susan McDonald says people returning from a holiday in Bali must quarantine for a week to reduce the chances of the highly contagious disease entering Australia

North Queensland Senator Susan McDonald says people returning from a holiday in Bali must quarantine for a week to reduce the chances of the highly contagious disease entering Australia

‘The cost to Australia if foot and mouth disease enters Australia is such that an immediate ban on travel to and from Bali and all other parts of Indonesia where the disease is present is necessary and a very low cost to reduce the risk to Australia’ Farmer Charles Harvey said on Twitter.

North Queensland Senator Susan McDonald says people returning from a holiday in Bali will be quarantined for a week to reduce the chances of the highly contagious disease entering Australia.

She said the likely consequences for animals, consumers and farmers were of “biblical proportions.”

The high impact of travelers bringing foot and mouth disease to Australia would pose a huge threat to livestock, farmers, consumers and the wider economy

The high impact of travelers bringing foot and mouth disease to Australia would pose a huge threat to livestock, farmers, consumers and the wider economy

“They might think ‘I haven’t been on a farm,’ but what we’re saying is that in Bali you have contact with animals and with people who work with animals,” she said.

People can easily introduce the disease on their shoes or the bottom of a suitcase if they touch animal feces.

University of Sydney Professor Michael Ward said foot-and-mouth disease is “remarkable” for how it survives and spreads.

“It can persist on many inanimate objects, such as equipment used with livestock, people’s clothing and shoes, on vehicle tires and in livestock transport,” he said.

“It can even remain contagious on the hands and noses of people who come into contact with infected livestock.”

The disease, which cost the UK economy $19 billion in 2001, led to apocalyptic scenes of more than six million cattle carcasses being burned on 2,000 farms.

A grazer from southern NSW called for 'an immediate ban' on travel to or from Bali

A grazer from southern NSW called for ‘an immediate ban’ on travel to or from Bali

What is foot and mouth disease?

  • It is a highly contagious and contagious ‘zoonotic’ disease that infects cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer with blisters, they salivate and salivate
  • The meat of infected animals is not safe to eat
  • Export from any country with an infection is prohibited
  • Milk production stops because people can get the disease by drinking milk
  • Healthy animals should be killed and burned in a quarantine zone
  • The disease was discovered in Indonesia in May 2022 and has spread to Bali
  • Humans can spread the disease through contact with animals, including on shoes, belts and luggage
  • The estimated threat to the Australian economy is $80 billion
  • More than six million cattle had to be destroyed in an outbreak in the UK in 2001

It affects even-toed ungulates such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and deer.

Signs of infection include blisters in an animal’s mouth or between the hooves, limping and drooling.

It appears to be at least as contagious as the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The disease is present in Southeast Asia and spread south to Indonesia in May. Now it has reached Bali.

Ms McDonald said an outbreak of the ‘cruel’ disease in Australia would have ‘catastrophic’ consequences for farmers, animals and consumers.

Although the disease is theoretically transferable to humans - especially through drinking milk - it is rare

Although the disease is theoretically transferable to humans – especially through drinking milk – it is rare

Another farmer, Catherine Marriott, the CEO of Riverine Plains, begged travelers to

Another farmer, Catherine Marriott, the CEO of Riverine Plains, begged travelers to “leave your clothes and your shoes there.”

It is heartbreaking that farmers would be ordered to destroy even healthy animals in the declared quarantine areas and burn their carcasses.

That’s because it’s extremely contagious and difficult to control, requiring a vaccination program with vaccines tailored to specific strains of the disease.

This would lead to huge spikes in the cost of red meat, pork and milk.

“The price we are paying now will seem cheap for years and months to come,” Ms McDonald said.

The consequences would quickly escalate and exports would be halted. Countries with foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks are isolated from the global livestock trade.

NSW Deputy Prime Minister Paul Toole said the disease is now ‘on our doorstep’ and he called on return Bali travelers to put away all shoes before re-entering Australia.

Another farmer, Catherine Marriott, the CEO of Riverine Plains, begged travelers to “leave your clothes and your shoes there.”

‘Support their local economy, buy clothes’ [and shoes] there and leave them there.

“That’s how we keep your ability to eat beautiful Australian meat safe.”

There has been no outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Australia for 130 years.

The disease, which cost the UK economy $19 billion in 2001, led to apocalyptic scenes of more than six million cattle carcasses being burned on 2,000 farms

The disease, which cost the UK economy $19 billion in 2001, led to apocalyptic scenes of more than six million cattle carcasses being burned on 2,000 farms

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