BALI: Fear that tourists may import Foot & Mouth disease from Indonesia. Wash your shoes, Henry!
Foot and Mouth – a disease of cattle are currently running rampant in Indonesia. The fear is that the disease may be imported into Australia, which is Foot and Mouth disease free, by tourists bringing back the virus on their shoes and clothing on their return from Bali.
The disease would devastate the cattle and dairy industry in Australia if it took hold.
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What you can do
If you are returning from Bali or anywhere in Indonesia, make sure you wash your belongings, especially shoes as they may have come in contact with the virus, especially if you have been in rural areas. Scrub your shoes to make sure there are no soil remnants on them.
Australian borders will soon be equipped with special antiseptic mats that will provide some disinfectant protection as you enter Australia after your flight or boat arrival.
You should always declare anything you are carrying that is listed in the questions on your arrival card. If you declare, you won’t get fined. If you don’t declare, then if found, and they are more likely than not these days to detect prohibited imports – you will get fined, and they can be hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you score an AU$2,500 fine, that will be way more than the cost of your airfare to Bali!
Want to know more? Head over here to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website for the latest information.
Please, for the sake of Australia’s biosecurity, declare anything that is listed on your arrival card. Border Force will tell you if it is allowed or not, and the worst that can happen is that you will lose the prohibited item. If you don’t declare, then your fine could make for a very expensive holiday.
Items are prohibited for a reason, not just to inconvenience you. Prohibited items – like meat could carry Foot and Mouth that, if introduced to Australia, would devastate our farming and cattle industries.
Don’t risk it. Don’t risk Australian biosecurity. Declare!