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FMD outbreak in Britain.

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DAFF07/110PM - 4 August 2007

FMD Outbreak in Britain

A range of measures have been implemented by the Australian Government, following confirmation of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Britain today.

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Peter McGauran said that increased quarantine measures were now in place for all flights arriving from Britain, and passengers travelling from the UK.

FMD is a serious viral disease of livestock that can be transferred through contaminated soil.

“Every passenger arriving in Australia from Britain, and passengers travelling from the UK will be required to have their luggage x-rayed and or physically inspected by quarantine officials,” Mr McGauran said.

“If they have travelled to rural areas in the UK, their footwear will be inspected and treated as required, before they are able to clear quarantine.

"All cargo arriving in Australia will also be subject to increased surveillance of containers and other items that could be contaminated with the virus.

"Australia has also offered to send specialists to Britain to assist them with containing and managing this latest outbreak.

"Australian officials and private veterinarians were instrumental in assisting Britain manage the 2001 outbreak of FMD, and will be available to assist in this outbreak.

"Australia does not import meat products from Britain, so there is no risk to our livestock industries from this source.

"I ask all travellers arriving in Australia from the UK to be patient, as increased time will be needed to clear passengers and their luggage through Australian quarantine.

“Foot and Mouth Disease in livestock does not cause disease in humans, so Australians travelling to the UK should not be concerned about risks to human health," Mr McGauran concluded.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520 © Commonwealth of Australia 2002-2007 | Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry | Other DAFF Ministers |