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FMD: Calls for livestock to be cut from Melbourne Show

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With authorities on high alert in the wake of a recent outbreak of the disease on the Indonesian resort island of Bali – frequented by tens of thousands Australians every month – Animal Health Australia has warned the agricultural show community they may need to consider running events without animals present. Should FMD be discovered at a show, AHA, in new guidelines released today, said all participating animals will have to be destroyed.AHA’s guide on dealing with an emergency animal disease outbreak during a show includes information on what would happen if FMD is found in Australia while a show is being held, as well as details on if an FMD is found in an animal at an event.“If the showgrounds is an infected property, susceptible animals on site will be euthanised and the carcasses disposed of appropriately,” the guide said.“If the showgrounds is subject to a livestock standstill within a declared EAD area, any susceptible animals on the property will need to be safely housed and maintained until animal movements are allowed.“You may need to start planning for an ag show without animals.”Victorian Farmers Federation livestock president Steve Harrison said animals should not be allowed to be part of this year’s Melbourne Show in September given it brought them closer to a bigger population.Mr Harrison said there was “too much at risk to allow it to happen”.“It really is a double edged sword,” Mr Harrison said.“Someone could be patting a calf one day and give it FMD and then – it doesn’t bear thinking about.“We know that the show is vitally important for the chance for farmers to tell their story but there is just too much at risk and I would prefer that it (livestock attending the show) did not happen.”Meanwhile, another industry leader has said anyone who has come from an FMD-affected nation should be banned from attending any agricultural event for at least seven days after they return.WoolProducers Australia chief executive Jo Hall said it was “incumbent on everyone to take responsibility in minimising the risk posed by this disease.”“Individuals both those in agriculture and the general public must play their part in ensuring that we mitigate the risk of FMD,” Ms Hall said.“For example, anybody who has returned from FMD affected countries should not be coming into contact with susceptible animals for at least seven days, either on-farm or at agricultural shows.”The Royal Melbourne Show has been contacted for comment.NED-4522-The-Weekly-Times-Newsletter-banner



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