Wollondilly Mayor warns of need to protect local agricultural industry from Foot and Mouth disease
Posted on: 21.07.2022
Wollondilly Mayor Matt Gould has called on the community to be vigilant and play their part in keeping the highly contagious Foot and Mouth Disease out of Australia, as the disease spreads through Bali and other parts of Indonesia.
“Council is reminding all residents and especially accommodation providers and tourism operators of the potential risks associated with travellers returning from Indonesia, including Bali, who may be carrying the devastating livestock virus.”
“This virus can survive more than 24 hours on footwear and clothing, so it’s important that all travellers returning from affected areas ensure their footwear and clothing is adequately cleaned before departure and as soon as possible upon arrival.”
“We are asking people to be responsible – to declare where they’ve been, make sure clothes and shoes are free from any soil or manure, and stay away from places where there might be livestock for seven days after their return.”
“Should the live virus gain a foothold in Australia, the livestock industry will be decimated.”
“As one of the closest rural areas to Sydney we could be at particular risk and any outbreak could see thousands of animals have to be euthanised across the Shire. Wollondilly has a strong livestock industry and we all need to work together to minimise the risk to this vitally
important sector of our local economy,” he said.
Tourism and accommodation providers should seek travel or transit information from their guests and remind them of the risks and what measures they should take. Rural landowners should also make sure they have an appropriate biosecurity protocol in place.
While Australia has been free of Foot and Mouth Disease for more than 130 years, biosecurity measures have now been ramped up following the detection of the virus in Indonesia.