Have Your Say

Letters July 28 2022: Foot-and-mouth disease no reason for Australia to panic yet

By Letters to the Editor
July 27 2022 - 6:30pm

The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Bali has many in Australia very worried. If it gets into Australia, it could greatly damage our $80 billion agricultural industry. We are a big meat and livestock exporting country and our export markets could be slammed shut overnight if FMD is detected in any of our animals. But FMD doesn't transmit as easily as many people believe. It has been in Java since May and only found in Bali in July. That's two months before travelling to Bali. Why is that significant? We travel 6.5 hours in a controlled monitored scheduled airline flight to get to and from Bali. To travel between Java and Bali it is only a 45-minute ferry ride. I've been on that ferry myself and locals took their chooks, pigs, goats, cows and just about anything else they could drag onto the ferry with them. It was pretty well uncontrolled. Other smaller boats also traverse between Java and Bali regularly. If FMD took two months with that open border to get to Bali with proper vigilance and a bit of luck, we should be able to keep FMD out of Australia.

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