Biosecurity New Zealand is closely monitoring the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Malaysia, China and Indonesia. All travellers entering the country have a role to play in protecting New Zealand farms from the highly contagious disease. Although there is a low risk of FMD entering New Zealand, it is important to follow all biosecurity rules to keep our country safe.
Information for travellers
- Travellers to New Zealand must declare all goods, equipment, and food that could carry unwanted pests or diseases into New Zealand.
- Travellers must also declare when they have been in contact with livestock.
- Do not bring animal products such as meat into New Zealand.
- If you visit a farm overseas, ensure that you clean footwear before departure.
- When someone arrives in New Zealand from a country with reported cases of FMD, there is a one-week stand down period before they can go onto a NZ farm or have contact with susceptible animals.
Information for farmers
It's important for farmers to maintain strong biosecurity practices, especially if you have workers travelling from countries with reported cases of FMD. Here are some tips to help keep your farm safe from FMD:
- When someone arrives in New Zealand from a country with reported cases of FMD, there is a one-week stand down period before they can go onto a New Zealand farm or have contact with susceptible animals. This includes farm workers arriving from overseas.
- Any farm worker arriving in New Zealand must follow the biosecurity rules outlined above.
- Make sure your new workers understand they cannot feed ruminant protein to other ruminants (such as cattle, sheep, lambs, goats, deer, alpacas)
- Make sure your new workers understand they cannot feed pigs food that could contain (or have been in contact with) uncooked meat
- If you are concerned about your animals' health, call your veterinarian immediately.
Clinical signs of FMD
Clinical signs include:
- High fever for two or three days
- Blisters or sores in the mouth, muzzle, feet and teats
- Drooling, tooth grinding and chomping
- Lameness (limping) or a tendency to lie down (pigs may also squeal when walking)
- Shivering or raised temperature
- Lethargy or depression
- Drop in milk yield for cows
- Death of young animals
For more information about foot and mouth disease, visit the MPI website.