Thursday, May 30, 2024

Moyne council backs #throwyourthongs to protect local farms

Moyne Shire Council Mayor, Ian Smith, is backing calls for travellers to leave their shoes behind in Bali in an effort to prevent an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Australia.

Mayor Smith said with confirmed cases of FMD in livestock on the popular holiday island, people returning from a Bali break should take extra steps to help stop the virus arriving in Australia.

“FMD can be carried on clothing and footwear – There are lots of local people heading off on a holiday over the next few weeks, so I ask that they do everything they can to ensure they aren’t bringing the disease home with them,” he said.

“If that means leaving footwear or clothing behind or giving them a good scrub before getting on the flight, then please do it.

“If there was to be an outbreak of FMD here it would be devastating. We would see significant animal deaths and the agriculture industry would be brought to a standstill.”

FMD is one of the most serious livestock diseases and affects cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, buffalo, camels, sheep, goats, deer and pigs.

Moyne Shire Council Mayor, Ian Smith.

While infection with the disease causes serious production losses, it also impacts the trade of livestock and livestock products. Countries free from the disease do not import from or severely restrict imports from countries with FMD infections.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing is the largest employer in the Moyne Shire with 37% of residents employed in the sector.

“Agriculture, fishing and forestry contributes $680 million to the Moyne economy which is 28 percent of Moyne’s total economic output,” he said.

“The manufacturing sector, which includes Dairy food processing, employs 17% of
Moyne residents and contributes a further $915 million, or 38% of Moyne’s gross
economic output.”

“An outbreak of FMD would be devastating for not just our local farmers, but it would flow onto the manufacturing sector and would have wide ranging impacts on the whole local economy.

“It’s vital that we stop this disease from entering Australia and the south-west and we all have a role to play in doing that.”

The National Farmers’ Federation today launched a #ThrowYourThongs campaign to help stop the deadly disease reaching Australian shores.

As part of the campaign, travellers returning from Indonesia can now access a 30% Ringers Western discount code, by posting evidence online that they’ve binned their shoes overseas.

President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Fiona Simson said treating yourself to a new pair of shoes while on holiday had never been a greater act of national service.

“Foot and Mouth Disease loves to hitchhike on shoes. That means your dirty old holiday pluggers could be the thing that brings this disaster to our shores. Don’t risk it!” said Ms Simson.

“Throw out those tired old thongs. Bin them at the airport or your hotel and post proof on social media, and we’ll help you buy a shiny new pair. It’s that simple,” Ms Simson said.

She said the unprecedented step by industry demonstrated how serious the situation was for Australia.

“I never thought we’d be helping people buy new shoes to keep my cattle safe, but here we are.”

“FMD arriving in Australia is a nightmare scenario for farmers like me. There’s literally nothing we won’t do to keep it out and keep our animals safe.”

To receive a 30% Ringers Western discount code, simply post a selfie binning your shoes while on holiday, using the hashtag #ThrowYourThongs and tagging in the National Farmers’ Federation. A code will be sent to the first 500 posters. Offer ends 20 July 2022.

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