Deputy Prime Minister of New South Wales Paul Toole has made a new policy for Australians who had travelled to Bali to take off their shoes upon return because of the risk of contamination with foot and mouth disease.
As reported by Australian news site news.com.au., Toole is urging travellers to be safe and ensure they do not bring contaminated soil into Australia. He even begged tourists to leave their shoes before flying home.
“Leave your shoes off because you really run the risk of bringing the disease back into this country,” Toole said.
Foot and mouth disease outbreaks have occurred in Australia, but haven’t been seen for years. If Australia is hit this time, it will be the first epidemic in 130 years.
“We know that foot and mouth disease has never been this close to our country before. Now this epidemic is at our doorstep again,” Toole said, as quoted by Australia News, Friday 15th July 2022.
Foot and mouth disease is one of the most serious livestock diseases in the world and affects split-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, and pigs.
Foot and mouth disease in cattle or other livestock can be spread through manure. This means that there is a risk of being spread through contaminated tourist shoes in Bali.
The precautions are not only for passengers from Bali flights. All passengers from Indonesia have been identified as high-risk passengers for intervention.
“We want to make sure 100 percent of returning passengers have been screened, I don’t care if it takes an extra two hours for passengers to get off the plane,” Toole concluded.