Home

Biosecurity protocols a new norm at Show

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Greeting visitors to the sheep exhibits at the Perth Royal Show were councillor in charge Peter Gelmi and sheep committee member Donald Cochrane holding a Valais Blacknose lamb, flanked by RASWA Animal Health Team staff Dion Foundas, 14. and Sam Kay, 16.
Camera IconGreeting visitors to the sheep exhibits at the Perth Royal Show were councillor in charge Peter Gelmi and sheep committee member Donald Cochrane holding a Valais Blacknose lamb, flanked by RASWA Animal Health Team staff Dion Foundas, 14. and Sam Kay, 16. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Biosecurity has been beefed up at the Perth Royal Show, with many livestock exhibitor venues maintaining restricted public access as a precaution to safeguard against the threat of foot-and-mouth disease.

The disease which affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, was detected in Indonesia in May for the first time since 1986.

It spread to Bali in June causing concerns with many livestock producers and Australian authorities, fearing it could reach Australia through foot-traffic or infected meat products.

Show visitors will be asked to enter all livestock venues by walking on biosecurity matts that are soaked with citric acid as a safety precaution.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

At each venue, the Royal Agricultural Society of WA has posted Animal Health Team staff to assist with any inquires and to remind people to wash their hands.

At the sheep pavilion, Dion Foundas, 14, and Sam Kay, 16, were at the entrance to greet visitors and answer any questions.

They were assisted with educational banners from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development that read ‘Biosecurity is a shared responsibility’.

“People have been very respectful of this biosecurity measure,” Sam said.

DPIRD principal research scientist Bruce Mullan said the Royal Show protocols were an opportunity to educate the public on biosecurity.

“If FMD were to find its way into WA, almost everyone would be affected in one way or another,” he said.

Councillor in charge of the sheep section Peter Gelmi said sheep numbers were slightly down on last year.

“Unfortunately, the FMD situation comes after COVID caused the cancellation of the Show in 2020 and it continued to cause interruptions at last year’s event,” he said.

But on the bright side of things, people can still have a good look at farm animals this year, including a very cute Valais Blacknose lamb – the first time shown at the Claremont Showground.

Sheep committee member Donald Cochrane greeted some visitors with the lamb and its cuteness attracted noticeable attention.

“WA has some of the best animal welfare standards in the world to keep our animals healthy, but we can’t afford to become complacent,” Mr Cochrane said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails