MARSHALL SOUNDS ALARM OVER FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE READINESS

Friday, 8 July 2022

 

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today voiced the concerns of local cattle producers over the threat of foot and mouth disease (FMD) entering the country to the Commonwealth and State Governments.

 

Mr Marshall said a confirmed outbreak of the devastating bovine disease was confirmed in Indonesia last weekend – the closest FMD has been to Australian shores since 1986 – had the region’s cattle producers and agents watching on with great trepidation.

 

“The threat of FMD is real – it’s right on our doorstep now – and it has our producers incredibly worried and asking the obvious questions, are we prepared and what’s being done to stop it getting into Australia?” Mr Marshall said.

 

“The cattle industry here in the Northern Tablelands is conservatively worth around $1 billion year to our local economy, once you factor in value of stock, those employed in the industry and the value of the unique stud genetics, built up over the last 100 years.

 

“You cannot replace what we have here and FMD, once in, would be absolutely devastating and send our producers, still recovering from drought, to the wall.”

 

Mr Marshall said after discussing the threat with dozens of the region’s producers this week, he’d written today to the Federal and State Agriculture Ministers urgently requesting the strengthening of biosecurity efforts.

 

“With thousands of Australians travelling to Bali and other parts of Indonesia over winter, additional safeguards must urgently be put in place to protect the health of livestock, our farmers’ livelihoods and the future of our agriculture sector.

 

“Our farmers need reassurance everything is being done by governments at all levels to avoid a catastrophic incursion and keep FMD out.

 

“This has to include the immediate implementation of thorough biosecurity inspections of all travellers arriving from anywhere in Indonesia, with particular emphasis on any contact with animals, rural areas and their footwear.

 

“Australia has been free of FMD since 1872, due to our strict quarantine and biosecurity protocols and now we have to be

 

“Make no mistake, if FMD gets in, it will almost certainly destroy the cattle industry, as we know it. We must do everything we can to stop it reaching our shores.”

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