Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is almost at Australia's doorstep. With Indonesia a popular destination for an Aussie winter getaway for many, its important that those travelling take personal initiative in protecting Australia's biosecurity.
Whilst officials at our ports perform the vital function of screening inbound travellers for potential foreign-borne disease in contaminated clothing, footwear and equipment, there's still a chance for disease to slip past this biosecurity safety net. If FMD gets into Australia, the impact will be deep, far reaching and long lasting.
The livestock industry would be decimated and would cause a huge economic loss for our nation. Many jobs would certainly be lost, and not just those in the farming sector. There are many industries which support and supply the livestock trade, and they will be hit, too.
The cost of living is already at an all-time high, and if FMD breaches our shores, the cost of meat and dairy products, if still available, would be cost prohibitive. Australia may need to rely on imported products!
Australia's biosecurity relies on each traveller to be honest when making their declarations on returning to Australia and take the extra step of thoroughly cleaning footwear and other clothing or equipment that may have been exposed overseas, both prior to entry and again at home.
We all have a part to play in Australia's biosecurity.
We are all hoping for the best in shielding our nation from the infection of Foot and Mouth Disease, but our governments need to plan for the worst by implementing a range of measures to protect the valuable bloodlines of our livestock industry.
It is vitally important we take every measure to prevent Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) from breaching our border, which would decimate Australia's foundational industry while impacting the lives and lifestyles of every Australian.
My Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party colleagues have called on the Government to prepare for the eventuality of an FMD outbreak, by supporting livestock fertility preservation and genetic banking.
Generations of farming families have spilled blood, sweat and tears while growing, developing, and protecting unique Australian livestock bloodlines.
It is imperative we preserve Australia's livestock genetics through the safe storage of fertility components. Artificial insemination is widely practiced in modern Australian farming and extracting this biological material from livestock is relatively simple and routine however, government support is needed to provide access for safe deposit and storage of breeders' valuable genetics.
In recent years, our farmers have copped everything from drought, flood, rodent infestation, Covid supply issues, and now the likelihood of an industry killing disease. We must plan for the worst case so that we're in the best position possible to regrow the industry, should it be struck.
This Noah's Ark protection plan would ensure genetic legacy and long-term security of Australia's farming and livestock heritage.
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