Living through the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK was "absolutely horrific" for Cudgee farmer Kevin Feakins who says he wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
It may have been more than two decades ago, but the memories are still fresh for Mr Feakins.
"It was a nightmare," he said.
"We lived through the foot and mouth epidemic in the UK and we lost all of our livestock."
For him that meant authorities slaughtering about 1000 sheep and 150 cattle.
"The experience was absolutely horrific on myself and my wife, seeing all those baby lambs slaughtered," Mr Feakins said.
"We'd just finished calving and lambing and they slaughter everything.
"I would not wish that on anyone. You would not want to live through it again.
"It's the only time in my life I've ever burst into tears."
Mr Feakins said the effect on the countryside was immense, and the way farmers were treated was "appalling".
It's the only time in my life I've ever burst into tears.- Kevin Feakins
"It left a lot of farmers feeling very, very sour. There were farmers who committed suicide," he said.
"They were at the end of their road with shotguns to stop the ministry gaining access to their property and armed police were there. It got quite messy."
Mr Feakins said the way farmers were treated was the reason he and many of his neighbours moved to Australia and Canada after the outbreak.
He said he was amazed the Australian government had not taken action to temporarily stop people going to and from countries where the virus had been detected.
"It's a no-brainer," he said. "Why would you want to run that risk?
"You do not want foot and mouth in this country. It will be catastrophic."
Mr Feakins said he feared that they wouldn't be able to keep foot and mouth out of the country because of the numbers of people holidaying in affected countries. "Sooner or later it will get into the country."
He said it was an "extremely contagious virus" that spread through the UK "like wildfire".
Mr Feakins said he was the 11th farm in the UK to be shut down because of the outbreak - although he said he was never supplied with any evidence that it had been detected on his property.
And just when he thought it was all over and could move on, and go ahead with plans to immediately move to Australia, he ended up in a six-year legal battle with the British government which he eventually won.
Mr Feakins said anyone who had bought and sold stock in the same market where a known case was tracked to was "notified and shut down".
"Even if you are a farmer and you got to market and don't buy anything they still rock up at your doorstep and lock you down," he said.
"And then they test your stock and before you know where you are they are slaughtering your stock and then your neighbours' as well.
"And then they lock you in your premises. We were locked in from February to November.
"You're not allowed to leave the property, not even to go shopping. You have to get people to bring it to the end of the road.
"It's a lot worse than lockdown. It's miles worse than COVID."
Mr Feakins said because authorities were short-staffed and outbreaks were occurring everywhere, it took months to finish cleaning his property. "It was just a nightmare," he said.
He said the Foot and Mouth Act in the UK had "tremendous powers". "They just tell you if you leave your property you will be arrested and go straight to jail."
Mr Feakins said he was compensated for his loss, but he ended up getting much less than other farmers. "We were case number 11, by the time they got to case 60 or 100 they were paying double or triple what they were paying us," he said.
However, he said there was no compensation for having an empty farm. "You've still got to pay your rates, your electricity and telephone. You've still got all your expenses," he said.
Mr Feakins questioned whether Australia had a compensation scheme.
Britain killed about 14 million animals in its outbreak, he said, but in Australia that could turn out to be double or triple.
Mr Feakins said at one stage they had 80 people on his farm cleaning it, who "smashed buildings to smithereens".
"The damage they do to buildings is colossal. Any wooden structure in Britain they just took it all down and burnt it," he said.
The only things they cleaned was steel sheds and concrete, and the acid they used interfered with the electrics. "The bill for rewiring our farm was about $30,000 or $40,000," he said. "We sued the British government and we were successful."
Mr Feakins came to Australia in 2007 and moved to Cudgee in 2019. He said his experience in the UK had taken a long time to get over. "You never forget it," he said.
"They kill all those animals and pile them up on the sheds and the stench was absolutely horrific."
Now he is worried for the future of his flock of Charollais sheep that he has built up over the years - and estimates he has invested at least $500,000 in them. "There's a lot at stake," he said.
Mr Feakins said that if FMD got into Australia, some farmers faced losing $10 million worth of stock. "Who pays for that?"
"It will affect the whole Australian economy." And regional areas would be hit the hardest, he said.
Mr Feakins said if the disease got into Australia's wild animal population, it could take 50 years to get rid of. "If we get foot and mouth here, all of our exports will come to a standstill," he said.
He said he couldn't go home to the UK to his dad's funeral because of COVID, but tomorrow he can get on a plane and go to Bali and risk bringing back foot and mouth. "It just doesn't make sense to me," he said.
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