Authorities of the Australian state of New South Wales are warning travellers about the threat posed on the livestock industry by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

The virus, which attacks cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, pigs and goats, can cause them to drool, go lame and eventually die.

Cases of humans catching FMD are extremely rare and are mainly related to the consumption of unpasteurized milk, dairy or unprocessed meat products. People can, however, be unwitting carriers as it can be transmitted by residual soil left on footwear and clothing.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the impact of an FMD outbreak would be “disastrous for the livestock sector, the economy and regional communities.”

“We have kept Australia FMD-free for more than 130 years, but it is now on our doorstep, and we all have a role to play to keep our industry safe,” Toole said in a statement on Monday. (ANI/Xinhua)