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Australia moves quickly to guard against UK foot and mouth outbreak.

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AFFA01/30WT 22 February 2001


Australia has taken swift action to protect local animal industries in the wake of the United Kingdom’s announcement yesterday of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in pigs, the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, said today.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has:

suspended imports of semen and embryos of cattle, deer, sheep and goats from the UK; ● revoked all current import permits for these products; and ● suspended imports from the UK of items that include materials derived from affected species, including dairy products and meat and meat-based flavourings from species other than those already covered by

the Australia New Zealand Food Authority ban on bovine products. Products that have been processed to destroy FMD virus will still be allowed.


The suspension affects product shipped from the UK to Australia on or after 5 February.

"AQIS has also alerted staff at Australian ports and airports to be particularly vigilant with regard to goods and passengers arriving from the UK," Mr Truss said.

"We can’t afford to take any risks with Australia’s multi-billion dollar livestock industries, so these moves are designed to protect us from any chance — no matter how remote — of FMD entering our herd.

"AQIS has revoked all current permits for imports of semen and embryos of cattle, deer, sheep and goats from the UK, and won’t be issuing any new permits until the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) declares that the UK is officially free from FMD," Mr Truss said.

Foot and mouth disease is a highly infectious viral disease that affects cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. It has been recorded in Europe over the past decade, and is widespread in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and parts of South America.

Australia’s extremely stringent controls have successfully kept this serious disease out of our livestock herds for almost one hundred and thirty years: the last recorded case of FMD in Australia was in 1872.

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772 AQIS: Carson Creagh (02) 6272 7520 or 0414 577 472

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Last updated 22 February 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2000