ABA Against Introduction of Live Virus

AUSTRALIA - ABA Chairman Brad Bellinger has said that it is 'unbelievable' that the recently released Beale Report would recommend a policy to introduce the live Foot and Mouth Disease virus into Australia.
calendar icon 6 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

"The evidence is already on record that research facilities are not secure enough to contain highly contagious diseases", he said.

The escape of Equine Influenza from Eastern Creek and the transfer of the rabbit Calici virus from an island off the coast of South Australia to the mainland are just two examples of how porus bio-security can be.

Mr Bellinger cited the even more alarming source of England's most recent Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in Surrey, which points towards the Pirbright Research Centre that held stocks of the live FMD virus. "This is the second outbreak from this facility, so it seems they hadn't learnt from their previous disastrous error in quarantine procedures", he continued.

"The Equine Influenza outbreak was a result of Government incompetence, costing the horse industry over $400 million. The Government now expects horse owners to pay a levy to recover the cost of their own negligence.

"It is estimated that a FMD outbreak would cost the beef industry over $10 billion. If the source of an outbreak of the disease came from a research centre that had intentionally brought the virus into Australia, we should consider it an act of bio-terrorism against our livestock industries."

Mr Bellinger said that the ABA joins the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) in their protest against the introduction of the FMD virus onto our island continent.

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