The Australian Government has banned the importation of meat products for personal use from all countries with foot and mouth disease.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt said the new restrictions, which came into effect from midnight, were the next step in the government's strong, three-pronged approach to tackling FMD.
"While Australia remains FMD-free, we must remain vigilant to biosecurity threats from overseas," Minister Watt said. "Under existing rules, no animals or animal products are allowed into Australia unless they meet our strict biosecurity requirements.
"When FMD was first detected in Indonesia, the Department of Agriculture tightened the rules for commercial imports of FMD-risk products from Indonesia. Then, when the outbreak reached Bali, the Albanese Government moved swiftly to increase the screening of all products arriving from Indonesia via mail.
"But prior to these new changes, private citizens were able to bring in some highly processed meat products for personal use – products like pâté, pork crackling or meat floss. With the ongoing spread of diseases like FMD and lumpy skin disease, I asked my department to review our import settings for risk products from all countries with FMD, not just Indonesia."
Minister Watt said while FMD had been endemic in countries around the world for decades, this was the first time such strong measures had been enforced.
"The former government did not take this action in response to previous overseas outbreaks, but after considering the evidence, we are not prepared to accept this risk," he said.
"Biosecurity is everyone's responsibility, and together we can all do our bit to keep Australia pest and disease free."
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