One millionth traveller walks over disinfectant foot mats

Senator the Hon Murray Watt
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Remember Foot and Mouth disease (FMD), the deadly livestock sickness that threatened Australia's $90 billion ag sector last year?

The Albanese Government certainly does and that's why we haven't taken our foot off the pedal in responding to the threat of FMD.

Whether its increased detection measures at our airports, more screening at our mail centres, millions of vaccinations for neighbours or technical assistance for Indonesian vets our commitment to keeping out FMD has not wavered.

Earlier this morning the one millionth passenger from Indonesia walked over the disinfectant foot mats at our airports.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the milestone was a timely reminder of the risks to our biosecurity system.

"Australia's biosecurity system is under unprecedented pressure, with a range of devastating animal and plant diseases on our doorstop," Minister Watt said.

"This just shows why we need to keep Australia's biosecurity system strong.

"While Australia remains FMD free, the risk to our agriculture industry remains.

"We are strongly committed to protecting Australia from pest and disease incursions which is why which is why we allocated $134 million in funding in the last budget to bolster Australia's biosecurity system."

Minister Watt said more than 40 tonnes of FMD risk meat items had been confiscated at our borders since July last year.

"Our biosecurity officers and inspectors do a fantastic job of keeping Australia's environment safe from pests and disease," he said.

"But the threats keep increasing, which is putting a strain on the systems that protect us."

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