Cattle Council is urging all beef producers to take precautions against Foot and Mouth Disease, to help prevent an outbreak in Australia.

While Cattle Council is advocating for increased biosecurity measures to keep Foot and Mouth Disease out of the country in the first place, it is important producers are able to respond to an incursion.

Cattle Council President, Lloyd Hick said producers should remain alert, but not alarmed.

“We need to remember, Foot and Mouth Disease is not currently in Australia,” Mr Hick said.

“All Australians should be taking steps to make sure it stays out, including cattle producers.

“The Commonwealth is ramping up biosecurity and we expect this to continue to match the threat level.

“This targeted response has successfully kept Foot and Mouth out of Australia for more than a century.

“Currently the disease is prevalent in 70 countries in Africa, South-East Asia and South America.

“Australia has a world-leading biosecurity system, but no system provides 100% protection.

“It’s important we have a range of systems in place to deal with an incursion, should we get one.

“The last line of defence is at your front gate and a number of simple measures can keep it away.

“Early detection is our best chance against eradicating the disease in the event of an incursion.

“Up-to-date biosecurity plans and practices can speed up detection and prevent the disease from spreading.

“It also makes a big difference when producers are aware of the symptoms of a disease.

“If you need to travel to a Foot and Mouth affected location overseas, steer clear of livestock and take all necessary precautions when returning home.

“Producers should question visitors before arrival and keep people away who have travelled to an FMD-affect country in the past seven days.”

Producers who want more information on biosecurity planning can visit the farm biosecurity website.

Anyone who suspects Lumpy Skin or Foot and Mouth Disease in livestock should call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. More information: www.cattlecouncil.com.au/fmd

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