Biosecurity NZ responds to reports of Indonesia Foot and Mouth outbreak

Biosecurity New Zealand is closely monitoring reports of a Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia, says its Deputy Director-General, Stuart Anderson.

His agency understands the outbreak is yet to be formally reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and is keeping a close watch on developments.

The risk was low, but “we have notified our primary sector partners”.

New Zealand’s biosecurity system includes risk assessment, visual inspections, X-ray screening, scanning technology, and detector dogs to prevent risk goods from being carried into New Zealand by travellers or arriving by mail.

All shipping containers and imported goods are assessed for biosecurity risk.

Mr Anderson said Biosecurity New Zealand was seeking more information from Indonesia and would talk to its Australian counterparts.

“We will review the latest information from Indonesia and boost our already strong measures at the border if required.  

“An audit last year of Indonesia’s supply chain for palm kernel, which is used as a feed supplement in New Zealand, showed it was meeting strong import health requirements.  

“We are planning to offer our experts to provide technical assistance on-the-ground to Indonesia as well as seek further assurances.” 

The suspected outbreak is a timely reminder for our farmers to have strong biosecurity measures in place, Mr Anderson said.

“Farmers should not feed untreated meat products to animals, especially pigs, and they should be keeping overseas visitors away from stock for a week after their last contact with animals overseas. It is essential that farmers continue using the national animal tracing system and having strong biosecurity plans on farm. 

“Anyone concerned about their animals’ health, especially symptoms including high fever, mouth and feet blisters or erosions and lameness should call your veterinarian or MPI’s exotic pest and disease hotline (0800 80 99 66). 

“We’ve worked closely with the primary sector on FMD preparation over many years and will continue to do so.” 

The Government last week announced an extra $42.9 million in this year’s Budget for biosecurity. Some of this will be dedicated to FMD preparedness work with primary sector partners.

Source:  Biosecurity New Zealand


Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog