Foot and Mouth Disease information for Rural Professionals

03 August 2022

Key points

  • Following the strengthening of measures at the border Beef+LambNZ, DairyNZ and MPI are now looking at what more can be done. For example, increased surveillance and compliance activity around swill/waste feeding regulations for pigs, which is well recognised as a risk pathway for the disease if border measures fail.
  • Industry groups will continue to hold the Government and our border agencies to account because of the significant impact this disease would have on our sector if it entered the country.
  • They are working with MPI on the FMD Task Force to improve readiness for FMD, in the unlikely event that there is an outbreak and also have a role to play in ensuring that farmers are aware of what they need to do to look for signs of foot and mouth disease and have good biosecurity plans in place on their farm.
  • Anyone concerned about their animals’ health, especially symptoms including high fever, mouth and feet blisters or erosions and lameness, should call their veterinarian or the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) exotic pest and disease hotline (0800 80 99 66).
  • Farmers should remember to keep up-to-date NAIT records. As the Mycoplasma bovis response has shown, recording all animal movements helps the speedy tracing of animals in the event of a biosecurity incursion
  • In addition to cattle and deer, FMD can infect pigs, sheep and goats and movements of these animals are not included in NAIT but are covered by Animal Status Declarations (ASDs).
  • Instead of using paper-based ASDs for every movement, farmers to use the electronic ASD (eASD) functionality provided by OSPRI for all livestock species.
  • Keep overseas visitors away from stock for a week after their last contact with animals overseas.

Measures in place

  • Travellers to New Zealand are not allowed to bring in uncooked meat products.
  • Travellers are no longer permitted to bring in any meat products from Indonesia.
  • MPI has an FMD Task Force to coordinate improvements to planning and preparedness for the unlikely event of a disease outbreak. B+LNZ and other industry groups are working with MPI on this.
  • Since FMD was found in Indonesia recently, Biosecurity New Zealand has stepped up its work at the border. Every passenger arrival card is examined and those from countries that have FMD (including Indonesia) are directed to a different process of questioning, baggage search and disinfection. This means that should passengers’ transit other airports, risks are still addressed.
  • There are currently no direct flights from Indonesia and passengers effectively need to through two borders with some of the strictest systems in the world (Australia and New Zealand) to get here.
  • All mail products that come into New Zealand from Indonesia are also x-rayed and checked by dogs. Quarantine officers are checking all cargo containers coming from Indonesia.