Moyne Shire Council mayor Ian Smith has asked locals to take extra precautions if they travel to Indonesia, as Australia's northern neighbour battles a growing foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak.
There have been confirmed cases of FMD in Bali and Cr Smith said any locals returning from the popular holiday island should think twice about bringing their footwear back with them.
"FMD can be carried on clothing and footwear. There are lots of local people heading off on a holiday over the next few weeks, so I ask that they do everything they can to ensure they aren't bringing the disease home with them," Cr Smith said.
"If that means leaving footwear or clothing behind or giving them a good scrub before getting on the flight, then please do it."
FMD is one of the most serious livestock diseases, with Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences modelling suggesting an Australian outbreak would put an $80 billion hole in the economy.
Moyne Shire is heavily dependent on farming, with more than one-in-three locals working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector. Cr Smith said the industry brought in $680 million per year to the local economy and "an outbreak of FMD... would be devastating".
"We would see significant animal deaths and the agriculture industry would be brought to a standstill," he said.
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has suspended a number of animal imports from Indonesia to prevent the highly contagious disease from spreading. If local cases arose it would have serious knock-on effects for Australia's animal product exports.
In Moyne it would also hit the dairy processing segment of the $915 million local manufacturing sector.
Australia has never had a confirmed case of FMD, with the most recent possible cases occurring in the 1800s.
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