If a trip to Bali is on the cards soon, don’t bring your thongs back.
That’s the message from experts who are desperate to avoid an outbreak of the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease, which was detected on the archipelago in May and has since spread to the holiday hotspot.
The National Farmers Federation says the virus loves to hitchhike on shoes, and travellers who buy themselves a fresh pair when they return to Australia will be performing an act of national service.
It is estimated it would cost the agricultural industry $80 billion if foot and mouth disease arrived in Australia.
Beef farmer and Waroona Shire President, Mike Walmsley says he’s surprised travel to and from Indonesia hasn’t been banned.
“As a producer, I’m really nervous at the moment,” he told ABC South West.
“We know that’s it’s up there [in Bali] and we know that the borders have opened up again and that travel’s ramping up – I believe it would be a wise move to shut them immediately until they get this thing under control.”
Australia’s Agriculture Minister Murray Watt will head to Jakarta on Tuesday to assess Indonesia’s response to the disease.