Zoo to protect animals from diseases

Melbourne Zoo has put in place additional measures to help ensure their animals are protected from the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia that threatens to affect Australia.

No local outbreaks have been reported so far, and Australia’s borders remain open, despite the opposition seeking to close them.

The zoo said the risk of transmission to their animals is very low, but they have been announcing a series of protocol changes.

In addition to restricting some paths through enclosures and encounters with animals, people who have recently visited Indonesia are required to wait 48 hours before visiting the zoo and people who live with any livestock – except horses – are told to avoid visiting the zoo altogether.

“We have put in place some containment protocols to help ensure the safety of our animals and that this risk remains low,” states in correspondence sent to zoo members this week.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said calls for border closures are damaging Australia’s agricultural reputation, at a time when evidence suggests current biosecurity measures are doing their job.

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