Travellers arriving from Indonesia will be under much stricter biosecurity scrutiny due to the presence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia, including at the popular tourist destination Bali.
FMD is a highly contagious disease affecting many animals Australia relies on for food, milk and fibre, such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and many more. The Australian Government is working hard to keep the disease out of Australia as it could have huge consequences for animal health and our agriculture industry.
While FMD doesn’t affect humans, the virus that causes it can be carried on footwear, clothing and luggage by people coming into contact with animals – as well as soil, mud and manure – in rural or wilderness areas, on farms, in markets and zoos, or anywhere else near animals.
FMD can also survive in meat and dairy products, even if they are frozen, chilled or freeze-dried, as well as on animal skins, camping and hunting equipment and trophies.
If arriving in Australia, travellers must truthfully declare visits to rural areas or contact with farm animals. Travellers must also declare any biosecurity risk material, such as meat, dairy or any other animal product.
All travellers should also clean any equipment, clothing and shoes thoroughly with soap or detergent before returning to Australia if they have been around animals or in rural areas.
Additional biosecurity measures are in place at airports across Australia. Biosecurity officers will be inspecting luggage from Indonesia closely. Failing to declare biosecurity risks will mean a breach of Australia’s biosecurity laws, and anyone found in breach could be issued with an infringement notice of up to $2,664. Travellers entering Australia on temporary visas may have their visas cancelled and, if so, will be refused entry into Australia.
It’s easy for travellers arriving in Australia to do the right thing and fill in their incoming passenger declaration truthfully. Telling the truth means not having to face any penalties. It’s even better to not pack any meat, dairy or animal products in luggage to begin with.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to help keep Australia free from FMD.
To learn more about FMD and how we are stepping up biosecurity measures to keep Australia protected, visit agriculture.gov.au/footandmouthdisease.
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