Foot and mouth disease update

// Biosecurity

You may be aware of the recent discovery of foot and mouth disease (FMD) viral fragments on imported dried pork “floss” in Australia.

There’s no indication that this creates heightened risk to New Zealand. Viral fragments are not infectious and cannot transfer live virus to another animal.

Pork floss can be legally imported to countries like New Zealand and Australia if it follows strict import health standards, such as the use of heat treatment. As an extra precaution, Biosecurity New Zealand is undertaking market surveillance to double check products available here have been legally imported.

Travellers to New Zealand are not allowed to bring in uncooked meat products.

Since FMD was found in Indonesia recently, Biosecurity New Zealand has stepped up its work at the border. Every passenger arrival card is examined and those from countries that have FMD (including Indonesia) are directed to a different process of questioning, baggage search and disinfection.

This means that should passengers transit other airports, risks are still addressed.

All mail products that come into New Zealand from Indonesia are also x-rayed and checked by dogs. Quarantine officers are checking all cargo containers coming from Indonesia.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is working closely with MPI to ensure New Zealand is taking every practical step possible to prevent FMD entering the country.

The Australian discovery serves as a further reminder of the importance of good biosecurity to protect New Zealand’s livestock industries.

Although the risk is low, it is important farmers know the signs of FMD. Anyone concerned about their animals’ health, especially symptoms including high fever, mouth and feet blisters or erosions and lameness, should call their veterinarian or the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) exotic pest and disease hotline (0800 80 99 66).

Our advice

Please remember to keep up-to-date NAIT records. As the Mycoplasma bovis response has shown, recording all animal movements helps the speedy tracing of animals in the event of a biosecurity incursion

In addition to cattle and deer, FMD can infect pigs, sheep and goats and movements of these animals are not included in NAIT but are covered by Animal Status Declarations (ASDs). Instead of using paper-based ASDs for every movement, we urge farmers to use the electronic ASD (eASD) functionality provided by OSPRI for all livestock species. B+LNZ was a partner in the Red Meat Profit Partnership, which funded the development of eASD.

Do not feed uncooked food that may contain meat to pigs. This is illegal and the highest risk pathway for FMD and other diseases.

Keep overseas visitors away from stock for a week after their last contact with animals overseas.

For more information, please visit our biosecurity page or contact:

Chris Houston, B+LNZ's Senior Manager Technical Policy and Beef Industry Liaison with M. bovis Programme on 021 562 871 or