Biosecurity investment welcomed, but sustainable funding model needed
Livestock SA has welcomed further investment from the Federal Government in biosecurity measures aimed at keeping foot and mouth disease (FMD) out of the country.
The Federal Government has announced an additional $14 million which will support Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea to manage FMD and provide 18 new biosecurity officers at airports and mail centres in Australia.
Livestock SA CEO Travis Tobin said the threat posed by FMD and lumpy skin disease (LSD) – both of which are spreading in Indonesia – is a stark reminder that governments at all levels need to invest in long-term, sustainable funding pipelines for biosecurity.
"Appropriate funding for biosecurity has been a continued request of the agriculture industry nationally for years,” he said.
“The South Australian livestock industry is an economic powerhouse for the state and so, to ensure this continues, we need to make sure that well-funded monitoring and awareness programs are in place.”
Mr Tobin said efforts to keep FMD out of Australia required a three-pronged strategy.
“This involves investment as required to strengthen biosecurity measures at the Australian border and investment in Indonesia to help them get the disease under control; and lifting travellers’ understanding of good biosecurity practices and their obligation to abide by them,” he said.
“Returning international travellers have a key role in keeping Australia free of all exotic animal diseases, by not bringing animal products home with them, avoiding places which could pose a biosecurity risk, and being vigilant with hygiene to ensure their clothes and shoes are cleaned thoroughly – or in some cases thrown out – before boarding the flight home.”
The Australian Government estimates a widespread FMD outbreak in Australia would have a direct economic impact of around $80 billion.
FMD is a highly contagious disease of animals that affects cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer, buffalo and camels. It can spread through close contact between animals and be carried on animal products or by the wind.
Contact: Alistair Lawson, AgCommunicators, 0448 400 606