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Wednesday, 3 May 1961

Dr Donald Cameron (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - Foot and mouth disease occurs in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. No meat or foodstuffs of animal origin other than in cans may be imported from any country except New Zealand where the disease does not occur. In the case of canned meats, certificates have to be furnished by veterinary officers in the country of origin that the meat was inspected and declared to be free of disease, both ante-mortem and postmortem. The canners have to submit certificates to the effect that every part of the contents of the cans has been heated to at least 100 degrees Centigrade. The efficacy of the procedure has again to be certified by veterinary officers.

Such other potential sources of infection as hides can be imported only if conveyed to certain approved tanneries which have to enter into a bond to observe certain conditions, and an extensive procedure of tanning and decontamination has to be carried out before the hides leave those factories. In order to deal with the introduction of the disease through the evasion, either wilfully or through negligence, of the regulations which the honorable gentleman has asked about, the Commonwealth has arrangements with the States for a procedure for the eradication of a possible outbreak and for payment of compensation in that case. The honorable gentleman will be aware that a bill to establish a fund for the Australian Territories is at present in the House. For a period of 50 years, the quarantine regulations have been successful in keeping foot and mouth disease out of Australia.

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