The current risk of Foot and Mouth Disease (F&MD) being introduced to Australia is a reminder for all bushwalkers to take precautions to combat the potential spread of soil borne diseases, the fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi (pronounced fy-TOFF-thora), and even weed seeds! Each of these issues can cause significant destruction – to animals, plants, and the ecosystem.
Help stop the spread by complying with these guidelines:
- clean your boots before you leave home
- park your car in designated car parks only
- keep to designated roads and walking trails at all times
- use hygiene stations where provided
- Respect instructions from private landowners regarding areas of access
- clean your boots when you finish your walk. Don’t take boots or shoes home to clean.
How to keep your footwear clean:
Bushwalkers are encouraged to carry a hygiene kit in their backpacks to keep footwear clean.
A ‘hygiene kit’ should contain:
- hard brush to clean footwear
- spray bottle of disinfectant
- methylated spirits (undiluted) or
- household bleach (diluted 1 part of bleach with 4 parts of water).
- if a hygiene station isn’t located on your walk, select a hard, well drained site for boot cleaning
- remove all soil and plant material from one boot at a time using the brush
- disinfect the entire sole using the spray bottle before placing the boot on the ground
- allow the sole of the boot to dry for approximately one minute
- step forward to avoid re-contaminating your footwear
- repeat steps two to six for the other boot
- finish by disinfecting the