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Closing border to Indonesia a “very blunt measure” says AFTA boss

Australia’s travel agents and businesses are doing our bit to help Australians travelling keep Australia foot-and-mouth disease free.


The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) says travel professionals are doing what they can to raise awareness of the necessary steps to keep the highly contagious disease out of Australia including:

  • Not bringing meat, dairy or animal products into Australia including freeze-dried or frozen products
  • Making sure shoes, clothing and equipment used near animals or in rural areas are cleaned properly including soles, laces and external surfaces before boarding flights to Australia and declare them on arrival
  • Declaring any travel in rural areas or near farm animals in the incoming passenger declaration


Closing the border now would have severe consequences, AFTA chief executive Dean Long said. 



“Closing the highly important Indonesian travel corridor at this stage would be a very blunt measure with massive economic and cultural damage for the Australian marketplace and the Australian Travel sector when there are still prevention measures being fully deployed.”


“We obviously need to strike the right balance given everything that is at risk including for Australia’s cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, buffalo, deer and camels and our farmers while also keeping the critical travel artery between Australia and Indonesian including Bali open safely.”


AFTA has shared the Australian Government’s Factsheet “Keep Australia foot-and-mouth disease free” with all members for clients travelling to and from Indonesia and is promoting on social media.


AFTA continues to work with the Department of Agriculture to finesse resources for travel professionals.


“Australia’s travel agents and businesses and AFTA are proud to be doing what we can to help keep Australia safe from foot-and-mouth disease,” Long said. 


“This is a significant threat that all Australians need to understand and take seriously.”


“There are a number of simple steps that anyone coming into Australia and especially those coming from countries where foot-and-mouth exists including Bali and Indonesia can and must take to protect Australia’s livestock industries, and avoid a flow on effect that could cost Australia more than $80 billion if there were an outbreak here.”


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Published: 25 July 2022

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