In response to the increasing number of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks worldwide, travelers to Australia from infected regions need to take steps to help prevent the accidental introduction of the disease into their country.
The virus is common among children. It causes sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. The condition is spread by direct contact with saliva or mucus.
Symptoms include fever, sore throat, feeling unwell, irritability, and loss of appetite. The virus usually clears up on its own within ten days. Pain medications can help relieve symptoms.
In May 2022, Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (AWE) was advised of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia, with an initial calculation of more than 2000 head of cattle infected in provinces across North Sumatra and East Java.
FMD is not considered a human health risk, but humans can carry the virus on their clothing, shoes, body (particularly the throat and nasal passages), and personal items. Foot and Mouth Disease is not a food safety or public health concern. Commercially produced meat, milk, and dairy products would be safe to consume.
It has been reported by the Australian Federal Minister of Agriculture Murry Watt, that Australian BIO Security Offices will be checking flights coming back into the country from Indonesia. These flights will be boarded by a biosecurity officer who will share a message dedicated to the issues surrounding FMD. He also has stated it is crucial to keep the relationship with Indonesia strong.
Mr. Watt also ruled out a travel ban between Bali and Australia. “We’ve got to keep our relationship with Indonesia strong, for trade, national security, and other reasons,” he said.
Bali Hotels Association Members have been advised to inform their guests of the biosecurity checks they may face upon returning to Australia.
Guests who do not wish to take home their shoes or any clothes are welcome to leave them with the hotel, which will then have them cleaned and made available for those communities in need through the Bali Hotels Association CSR Program.
In regard to FMD in Bali, as of July 5, 2022, the government in Bali temporarily closed the animal market to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease in Bali. At least 128 head of cattle in four districts in Bali tested positive for foot and mouth disease. Around 110,000 doses of the FMD vaccine have now been received by Bali. The Department of Agriculture and Food Security of Bali Province has culled 55 cattle.
Bali Hotels Association, in a recent meeting with its members, the Security and Safety Director Franklyn Kocek, spoke about the need to be vigilant of the Government Hygiene and Sanitary requirements that need to be fulfilled by vendors. The Veterinary Control Number, which is abbreviated as NKV, is a certificate as valid written evidence that the hygiene-sanitary requirements have been fulfilled as basic feasibility of guaranteeing food safety of animal origin in a food business unit of animal origin.
The objectives of NKV certification are:
1). To ensure that the food business unit of animal origin has complied with the hygiene-sanitation requirements and implemented good production methods,
2). Make it easier to trace back in case of food poisoning cases of animal origin and
3). The implementation of legal and administrative orders in the business management of food products of animal origin.
More information from the Australian Government is available here