Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt

July 15, 2022

The Federal Government is providing $1.5 million to support Indonesia’s response to the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the country.

The funding will provide at least one million FMD doses for Indonesia’s vaccination program, and follows a formal request for assistance from the Indonesian Government.

The vaccination program is focused on support for the smallholder farming sector, which makes up about 90 per cent of Indonesia’s cattle industry.

This support is in addition to Australia’s existing commitment of 435,000 Lumpy Skin Disease vaccine doses that are currently being distributed to affected Indonesia provinces.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt discussed Australia’s support with his Indonesian counterpart Syahrul Yasin Limpo in Jakarta on Friday.

Minister Watt also met with Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority head and Chief of the Indonesian Task Force for Foot and Mouth Disease, Lieutenant General Suharyanto.

The Australian Government has also committed an initial $500,000 to Meat and Livestock Australia, responsible for co-ordinating support from Australian industry for the Indonesian feedlot sector’s emergency response to these diseases.

Minister Watt said the Federal Government was taking a “two-pronged approach” to FMD, first by strengthening biosecurity measures at the Australian border and by supporting efforts to curb the spread overseas.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said safeguarding the biosecurity of the region was a shared concern for Australia and Indonesia.

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Nationals leader and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the Federal Government had failed to mitigate FMD risks at our ports.

“They have taken too long to reach out to Indonesia, too long to bring forward biosecurity spending and still cannot make their mind up on foot baths and mats,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We had 16 flights arrive from Indonesia yesterday. Another 16 will arrive today.

“The Minister says FMD is a small risk. Yet the advice I was provided by the Department said there was an increase to 18 per cent chance of transmission to Australia once FMD was in Bali.

“With nearly a one-in-five chance and this inadequate response, the Labor Government is rolling the dice on an $80 billion hit to our economy.

“We needed disinfectant foot baths and mats at airports last week.”

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