Federal Member for Flynn Colin Boyce has called on the Albanese Government to understand the seriousness of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak.
This is following the highly contagious disease spreading through Indonesia including the holiday island of Bali.
FMD spreads among livestock either as an airborne disease or through contaminated feed, faeces and even clothing.
It does not infect humans but a visitor to Bali who goes near a farm animal could bring the disease home on their clothes or shoes.
Mr Boyce said the highly contagious disease will have a devastating effect on the Australian economy including in the Flynn electorate.
“If foot-and-mouth disease reaches Australian shores, it will devastate the agricultural industry, associated industries and cost the Australian economy tens of billions of dollars,” Mr Boyce said.
“In 2001 in the United Kingdom, foot-and-mouth disease forced the destruction of more than 6 million pigs, cows, and sheep at an estimated cost of £8 billion.
“Australia’s agricultural industry is worth much more than the United Kingdom’s with our beef industry being worth more than $20 billion a year alone.
“We need to explore the possibility suspending all but essential travel to Indonesia including to Bali. The same protocol that was implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Our agricultural industry needs to be protected against biosecurity threats such as FMD and this requires leadership from the Australian Government.
“The time to act is now.”