A Global AgriTrends analyst has called for Australians to be banned from Bali for the next six months. This is because he is concerned about an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) that has been detected in Bali, and the impact this could have on Australia’s cattle industry if it were to spread.
A food analyst, Global AgriTrends analyst Simon Quilty, has told Yahoo News that Australians ought to be banned from Bali for the next six months. He made this suggestion because he is concerned about foot and mouth disease spreading to Australia.
The outbreak was first detected in Indonesia a month ago. If it spreads to Australia, the consequences could be disastrous for our beef industry. Quilty told Yahoo News that if foot and mouth disease spread to Australia, important buyers including China, Japan, North America and South Korea would ban the importation of Australian beef.
He also said he was worried about the global shortage of vaccines to combat foot and mouth disease. Foot and mouth disease is carried on clothes and shoes, he said, warning we are creating disease “highways through each of our airports.”
“As a country we seriously need to think about banning people going to Bali, as extreme as that sounds,” he told Yahoo News.
He’s not the only expert to express concerns about foot and mouth disease in recent weeks. Australia’s chief vet, Dr Mark Schipp told the Australian Associated Press that Australia is now facing the “greatest biosecurity threat to animal agriculture” that we’ve seen in recent decades.
“We know if we had a foot and mouth disease outbreak in Australia it would be very difficult to respond to … and the trade impacts on Australia’s livestock and loss of product exports would be absolutely immense.”Dr Mark Schipp
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “the Department of Agriculture estimates that a small outbreak that is controlled within three months would cost around $7 billion and a 12-month outbreak would cost $16 billion.”
Foot and mouth disease outbreak in #Indonesia, coincides with the return of direct flights between Darwin and Bali… a lot of risk for Australia’s livestock sector reports @ABCRural https://t.co/6UUgESV0Wk pic.twitter.com/DPR0JLUTXI— Matt Brann (@MattBrannRURAL) May 13, 2022
To put that into perspective, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the UK’s 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak, which caused 2000 confirmed cases, resulted in more than 6 million pigs, cows and sheep being destroyed, “with the cost estimated at £8 billion [AU $14 odd million].”