Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said Australia was fortunate to befree from rabies, a deadly disease that kills dogs and people, but continuedvigilance was needed to keep it that way.
“Every year more than 59,000 people worldwide die from rabies and 99 per centof these cases are caused by the bite of a rabies-infected dog,” MinisterMcKenzie said.
“Around the world one person every 11 minutes dies from the disease and wedon’t want any Australian’s in that number.
“Australia’s strict biosecurity laws have helped us become one of only a fewcountries declared rabies-free, but the deadly disease is present in manyother parts of the world, with the hardest hit including Africa and Asia.
“Rabies could be brought to Australia through the illegal importation of aninfected dog or cat through our airports, ports or across our vast coastline.
“In 2018, 5914 dogs and 2484 cats were legally imported into Australia, andserved a mandatory 10 days quarantine to make sure they were free of thedisease.
“If rabies became established in Australia, the toll on human and animalhealth would be substantial and lead to significant response and recoverycosts.
“We are always improving our preparedness, early detection, and responsearrangements through collaborating with counterpart agencies in Indonesia,Timor–Leste and Papua New Guinea, to detect, monitor, control and mitigate themovement of diseases, including rabies.
“It’s also why our strict biosecurity rules are in place and it’s why you mustapply for an import permit and do all the tests by the book if you want tobring your cat or dog to Australia.”
If you’re planning to bring your pet to Australia or want to know more abouthow we manage biosecurity risks in Australia visit: agriculture.gov.au/cats-agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs
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