NEWS

Fiji Keeps Watch- Foot and Mouth Disease in Livestock

Mr Kumar said Biosecurity Authority of Fiji had reconfirmed that there have been no detection of foot and mouth disease found in any of the meat and dairy products coming in.
21 Jul 2022 12:21
Fiji Keeps Watch- Foot and Mouth Disease in Livestock
Fijian authorities are on watch as the foot and mouth disease is being detected overseas.

The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Vinesh Kumar, worries that our meat and dairy imports will eventually be impacted, with the foot and mouth disease now detected overseas.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that the disease had been detected in meat products going into Australia from both Indonesia and China.

Biosecurity New Zealand is stepping up its work at the border with a new campaign to keep out the disease, media reports say.

 

Foot and mouth disease infects cloven-hoofed animals and does not affect the health of humans. It can be carried on animal products including meat and leather and people can carry it on their shoes, clothes or in their noses, where it can survive for up to 24 hours.

Mr Kumar said Biosecurity Authority of Fiji had reconfirmed that there have been no detection of foot and mouth disease found in any of the meat and dairy products coming in.

“Currently, we do not import much of our meat products from Australia and New Zealand. Most of our imported milk are from New Zealand. It will not affect us in the short run,” he said.

 

“However, there have been cases of the foot and mouth disease recorded in Indonesia. In the long run, Fiji’s livestock market could also be impacted if there is a case of foot and mouth disease found in our cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and buffalos.”

He said there was no ban yet on imported meat and dairy products because of the disease.

“We, on a daily basis, keep a tab on the diseases impacting neighbouring islands. Foot and mouth disease is one of Fiji’s greatest biosecurity risks.

“There are measures and protocols in place to be followed in case these diseases are found present in some of the imported goods. Actions are taken immediately.”

He is calling on livestock owners to remain vigilant for signs or symptoms of the disease, and to report them immediately to a veterinarian.

 

“Foot and mouth disease is a highly infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, goats and buffalo,” he said.

“It does affect non- cloven-hoofed animals such as horses, dogs, cats or birds, and it is not the same as hand, foot and mouth disease that affects people.”

“Although many affected animals may survive foot and mouth diseases, they take a long time to recover and often do not regain their full productivity.”

“Surviving animals may also become carriers of the virus. The sooner foot and mouth disease are recognised and reported, the sooner its spread can be controlled.”

 

Feedback: nacanieli@fijisun.com.fj



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