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Federated Farmers urges extreme vigilance on FMD
Katrina Thomas

Federated Farmers urges extreme vigilance on FMD

Biosecurity New Zealand continues to closely monitor the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia, Federated Farmers is urging holiday makers to also be extremely vigilant.

Photo Credit: The Spruce / Taylor Nebrija 

"Travel restrictions have eased and many families are keen to escape our winter for some sun overseas. But if FMD reached our shores it would be devastating for agriculture and our economy," Federated Farmers vice-president and biosecurity spokesperson Wayne Langford says.

"The FMD virus can live on footwear for 48 hours. Before returning to New Zealand please, please clean your shoes and jandals, or better still, buy cheap footwear while on holiday and dispose of them before you leave, and abide by the one week stand-down before visiting a farm here."

Indonesia reported two outbreaks of FMD to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on May 9th, after being free from it for 30 years.

Bali has about 16 million cattle, and now over 20,000 animals have been infected in 16 provinces on four Islands - Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Lombok.

FMD is also present in Malaysia and China.

"New Zealand has no direct flights to Bali, but MPI advises to not let overseas visitors near stock for a week after they were last near animals or infected places overseas."

Frontline staff at our border are paying close attention to goods and any travellers arriving in the country with Indonesia as their point of departure.

"Our biosecurity defenders are doing their bit - we need you to do the same," Wayne said.

There are  simple things travellers must do to protect against FMD:

  • Travellers to New Zealand must declare all goods, equipment, and food that could carry unwanted pests or diseases into New Zealand.
  • Travellers must also declare when they have been in contact with livestock.
  • Don’t bring in animal products such as meat.
  • If you visit a farm overseas, ensure that you clean footwear before departure.
  • On arrival to New Zealand, there is a one week stand down period from the time that a person arrives from a country overseas with FMD, to the time that they go onto a NZ farm or have contact with susceptible animals in NZ.

"Bring back a tan - not Foot and Mouth disease." 

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