Footwear bins urged for SA airport

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The South Australian opposition says footwear disposal bins and disinfectant stations should be established at Adelaide Airport to help prevent foot and mouth disease entering the state.

Opposition Leader David Speirs said the government should do everything possible to prevent the disease getting into SA.

"There are already fruit disposal bins at Adelaide Airport to help combat fruit fly, so I can't see why we can't add other bins to help prevent foot and mouth disease," he said.

"Growing up in Scotland during the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK I have seen firsthand the devastation this disease can cause.

"It isn't an overstatement to say if foot and mouth made its way to Australia it could become the agricultural equivalent of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Last week the federal government outlined a multi-million dollar package to help prevent foot and mouth arriving in Australia, amid concerns an outbreak could wipe out parts of the country's agriculture sector.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said $14 million would be spent on combating the spread of the disease in Australia and overseas.

Of that, $5 million will go towards on-the-ground measures in Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea, including technical assistance and epidemiological support.

A further $9 million will be spent on 18 new biosecurity officers to be stationed at Australian airports and mail centres, as well as detector dogs in Cairns and Darwin.

Farmers have also urged travellers from Bali to throw out their thongs before arriving in Australia, to help stop the highly contagious disease.

President of the National Farmers Federation Fiona Simson said travellers who buy themselves a new pair of shoes after their holiday would be performing an act of national service.

"Foot and mouth disease loves to hitchhike on shoes," Ms Simson said.

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