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New Species, Disease & Quarantining

When those members of the team from overseas arrived into Cairns
International Airport the week before the trip started, representatives
from the Australian quarantine service checked their bike tires for
traces of mud and asked some members whether they'd visited a farm
recently. Why? To try and prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth disease
into the country.

Being somewhat isolated from the rest of the world by water; Australia
is perfectly suited, at least geographically, to prevent diseases (like
Foot and Mouth).from entering the country. On the flip side, because of
the enormous tracts of unfenced land and uncontrolled movements of
feral animals - such as pigs - that would quickly spread the disease
under-hoof, trying to bring a rogue disease under control in Australia
would be very difficult.

Another factor in the equation is the dependency of rural communities
on the global market. In the beef industry for example, an infectious
disease that renders the meat unsaleable on the international market
would result in a huge price drop, putting many farmers out of
business. As it is, Australia has an extremely clean record as a disease-free
country, and this in part explains the high prices being paid for Australian beef at the time of writing.


We passed this sign today (see photo). It is designed to being people's
attention to the presence of Tuberculosis and Brucellosis in the area.
Although less infectious than Foot and Mouth, these diseases, if not
controlled by quarantining of infected cattle, could spell disaster in
the local and national cattle farming industry.

Suggested learning activities: find out about any diseases that farmers
in your local area have to take preventative measures against. What
impact would there be on the farmer, the local and national economy
should the disease/s get out of control.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 28, 2001 12:32 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Bushfire Management.

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