The federal government is increasing biosecurity measures at the border following the detection of foot-and-mouth disease in cows in Bali.
FMD can be detrimental to livestock, causing painful blisters and, in some cases, leading to mass slaughter. Although the virus does not present a danger to human health, the potential economic impact of an outbreak is significant.
Animals can contract FMD through inhalation of infected air particles, contact with lesions, or ingestion of contaminated milk, semen, feces, or urine.
Strict biosecurity measures are being put in place for travelers returning from Indonesia due to the possibility that the virus may be present on footwear, clothing, and car tyres.
An outbreak could cost Australia’s agricultural sector billions of dollars over many years.
Murray Watt, the minister of agriculture, said he wouldn’t have tourists pass through foot baths because many would be wearing thongs.
He said that the necessary disinfectant would be too harsh for exposed flesh.
In regards to a travel ban between Australia and Bali, Mr. Watt said, “At this stage the advice to me is that that sort of action isn’t necessary.”