Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Foot and Mouth Disease - Australia MUST Be Prepared

FMD is considered a threat of enormous implications for Australia.  Internal quarantine issues, loss of trade in animals and possibly other products, loss of income and national costs in disease management, with very significant ongoing costs and loss of trade and the costs to rebuild rural industry.  Figures of $16 billion are quoted, but it may be higher considering the the UK outbreak cost A$19 billion.

It is everyone's role to be aware, especially if working in the animal industry sector, of what it is and the symptoms and an need to urgently report suspicious appearances in stock.  Starting the process provides a better option in containment, if it is confirmed.

While I can remember a range of workshops and training from quite a few years back, the need to provide updates is now emerging, with recent training and information programs for industry beginning to be provided across Australia.

Victoria has recently held information and training sessions, and more are planned around the country.

There have been a few prosecutions of individuals over detections of breaches of quarantine recently, with items that pose significant threats around FMD.  Many professionals in biosecurity are of a view that this type of problem could be an avenue whereby it would enter Australia.

While I believe most people resident in the NT take quarantine very seriously, vigilance must be maintained, and it is each and everyone who needs to be careful.

The consequences of foot and mouth disease in Australia are awful to contemplate, both for the rural industries of the NT and all of us.

More photos here - and there is more information on the web site of it and other important animal and plant diseases.

No comments: