Article by: Hari Yellina
After years of epidemic agony that destroyed Bali’s tourism business, eager vacationers have begun coming back for a tropical retreat. But now, the cheap journey might bring a dangerously contagious menace to Australia, where one unclean pair of thongs could cause an “event” costing $80 billion. As concerns mount that the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Indonesia will spread to Australian beaches, farmers are pleading with tourists to take the outbreak seriously. Travelers may be anxious about their vacation plans as pressure mounts to close the border with Indonesia in order to safeguard Australian farms. Susan McDonald, a senator from North Queensland, is one of those pleading with the government to enact a quarantine period or a travel ban in order to safeguard Australia’s livestock sector.
Even though many visitors would not go to a farm, McDonald cautioned that they might easily come into contact with animal workers or animal waste in the streets. In Bali, you can interact with animals and those who work with them in ways you wouldn’t typically be able to, she added. Murray Watt, Australia’s agriculture minister, has, however, disallowed travel to the popular vacation location. Watt affirmed that blocking the border was not an option and that there would be no flight ban to Bali. Australians who want to visit Bali can still do so, but authorities are advising them to heed international biosecurity recommendations.
Watt claimed that while he could appreciate the broad anxiety and the reasons why some were advocating “drastic measures,” including closing the border, biosecurity experts had not found that to be necessary. He told reporters on Thursday that “even the agriculture leaders I am speaking to are saying that it is one step too far because it would jeopardise our economic relationship with Indonesia.” “That is why we are acting decisively both domestically and internationally. With foot and mouth disease on our doorstep, this is the worst worry the Australian livestock business has ever seen.
While flights are expected to resume, travellers will need to alter their travel arrangements in order to comply with biosecurity recommendations. The disease can enter Australia by adhering to footwear such as boots, shoes, clothing, backpacks, and other items including meat and dairy products, according to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry. This means that visiting farms, touching animals, or even merely strolling along a sidewalk or on a temple ground might readily expose travellers to the virus. The best prevention strategy currently recommended is to avoid contact with animals, but you can never be sure where a cloven-hoofed animal has walked before you. Before boarding their flight home, travellers are advised to throw away any extra pairs of shoes they brought along as. If they’re not willing to part ways with their shoes, give them a serious clean and launder as many clothes as possible to stop the disease clinging to your belongings.