Goondiwindi's mayor is urging all residents to pitch in to protect the region due to the "devastating" effect a foot and mouth disease outbreak would have on its $591 million agriculture industry.
Mayor Lawrence Springborg is asking all local residents to stay alert and informed about the current risk of FMD, calling on local livestock owners to ensure they know what FMD looks like and to check their animals frequently as per Biosecurity Queensland advice.
"Across the country, farmers are warning that just one case of the disease could cause a significant negative economic impact across Australia," Mr Springborg said.
Clinical signs of FMD in livestock include blisters and ulcers in the mouth, feet and teats, lameness, fever, unwillingness to eat, excessive salivation and sudden death in young animals.
Under Queensland legislation, any suspected presence of the disease in any species of animal must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline immediately.
The mayor is also urging local travellers to be extra cautious when returning home.
"FMD is considered one of Australia's greatest biosecurity risks, and international outbreaks are a reminder that animal diseases can spread quickly and do not respect international borders," he said.
As per Australian government advice, people can carry the disease on their shoes, clothes or in their noses - where it can survive for up to 24 hours.
It is recommended that people who have been in contact with FMD-infected areas do not visit Australian farms or handle livestock for a required time period after returning to Australia.
Councillor and rural services portfolio holder Susie Kelly said the potential impact of FMD would be "devastating" in the Goondiwindi Region.
"The agricultural industry is the backbone of the Goondiwindi Region - from feedlots to piggeries, cattle and sheep grazing operations, livestock agriculture generates hundreds of millions of dollars in our region," Cr Kelly said.
"Every single one of those operations supports local livelihoods and jobs, and contributes significantly to our local economy - so we need to do everything we can to protect that."
FMD is a highly contagious viral disease and was confirmed in Indonesia in May.
FMD only affects cloven-hoofed livestock such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer - it does not affect humans, horses, or companion animals such as dogs and cats.
However, humans can transmit the disease to livestock following close contact with infected animals.
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