Decontamination Information

​​​​​​​There are some simple steps you can take to make sure you are not carrying pests or diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) or​ other animal diseases, on your clothing and footwear, or vehicles and equipment. These decontamination measures are simple and practical steps you can do, to meet your general bi​​osecurity duty, and help keep FMD out of Australia and Tasmania.

All information provided below is based upon risk minimisation in relation to the introduction of pests and diseases. One key message is that the best biosecurity actions are those that get done, and that disinfection is largely ineffective if the item you’re treating isn’t clean and free from mud or dirt in the first instance. ​

Travelling back from FMD-infected countries (including Indonesia)?

​​Footwear and outdoor equipment​

  • Remove any bulk mud or dirt with a brush or boot pick, then clean thoroughly with hot water (~75˚C) if possible and detergent. 
  • Make sure there is no mud or dirt visible in the tread or on the sides of the shoes, laces or Velcro, rinse off detergent and allow to dry.
  • Once dry, check if footwear and equipment is still dirty. If needed, wash again. 
  • Use a disinfectant for FMD on your shoes or equipment once they have been thoroughly cleaned if they had been used in areas with higher FMD risk (eg if you interacted with livestock).


  • ​Ensure clothing is free from any build-up of mud or dirt.
  • Soiled clothing, or clothing that has been worn in rural or agricultural areas of FMD-infected countries should be washed with detergent on a heavy wash cycle, and fully dried in the sun or a hot drier.​

​Other items

  • ​​Remove any bulk mud or dirt with a brush or similar, then clean thoroughly with hot water (~75˚C) if possible and detergent. 
  • Rinse off detergent or allow to dry.
  • Use a disinfectant for FMD on your items once they have been thoroughly cleaned.​

If you have clothing, footwear, or equipment that you suspect to be a carrier of FMD, and you have no facility to adequately clean and disinfect the items – they should be left behind and not brought to Australia or Tasmania. For more information on the current restrictions for bringing items back to Tasmania, please see our webpage Current Biosecurity Alerts, or alternatively Travelling to Tasmania from Indonesia or Bali.

Acceptable disinfecting agents for FMD include Virkon™ or citric acid (see table below*). More detailed information about decontamination for emergency animal diseases can be found in the AUSVETPLAN Decontamination Manual.

PurposeUsual Dilution
Suggested Contact Time
Citric acid
​Footbaths, surface cleaning
​15 mins for non-porous surfaces, 30 mins for porous surfaces.
Citric acid
​Clothing, equipment, general use
​15 mins
​Machinery, clothing, surface cleaning
​At least 10 mins, for surfaces apply at a rate of 1-1.5mL/m2

*Table adapted from Permit PER83649 and AUSVETPLAN Decontamination Manual. Please read product label instructions and follow safety precautions.​

Decontamination information for primary producers

You should regularly clean and decontaminate agricultural equipment and machinery, especially when it has been moved or is moving to a new facility or property. This should be at the core of your farm biosecurity plan, regardless of external risks from pests or diseases. If you do not have a farm biosecurity plan, it is strongly recommended that you put one in place. More information on farm biosecurity planning can be found on the webpage Farm Biosecurity. ​

Important note – FMD is not in Australia, however in the interest of public information the details below are specific to FMD, in terms of chemical use. For business-as-usual farm operations, you should use general disinfectant as recommended by your veterinarian or rural supplier. To disinfect against FMD, citric acid is preferred. VirkonTM can be used for both business-as-usual and FMD disinfection operations. These recommendations have been obtained from the AUSVETPLAN Decontamination Manual​. For suggested dilutions, see table above.​

​Agricultural equipment, machinery and vehicles​

  • Make sure there is a designated site for cleaning equipment or machinery just inside the property gate.
  • In a designated wash bay or other washdown facility, remove any large clumps of mud, dirt, or other organic material.
  • Thoroughly washdown equipment or machinery with a high-pressure washer. High pressure washers that can use hot water and detergents are better.
  • Once clean, consider using a disinfecting agent for FMD on ‘high-risk’ areas of your equipment or machinery (such as tires or tracks, wheel arches, or any other areas that may come into contact with livestock or transfer pests and disease to other parts of your property). 
  • Always follow label instructions, including safety information and wetting time.
  • ​To further reduce the risk of FMD from entering your property, limit vehicle access onto the property such as utes and stock trucks whenever practical.


  • Visitors should wear clean, protective clothing and visibly clean boots when arriving at your property.
  • You could have dedicated footwear and/or protective clothing that doesn’t leave your property for visitors to use (gumboots for example).
  • Disinfectant for FMD can be applied to boots with visibly clean tread, via a foot bath or foot mat.​​​

For further resources on meeting your general biosecurity duty, see the links below:

At any time you suspect an emergency animal disease, please call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline: 1800 675 888


Animal Disease Enquiries

13 St Johns Avenue,
New Town, TAS, 7008.