National Farmers' Federation

Farmers urge travellers to ditch their pluggers to protect Aussie farms

#ThrowYourThongs: That’s the message from farmers desperate to stop Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) from reaching Australia, following an outbreak on the holiday island of Bali.

Farming organisations are now putting their money where their mouth is – offering discounts to travellers who bin their shoes.

President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Fiona Simson, said treating yourself to a new pair of shoes while on holiday had never been a greater act of national service.

“Foot and Mouth Disease loves to hitchhike on shoes. That means your dirty old holiday pluggers could be the thing that brings this disaster to our shores. Don’t risk it!”

Travellers returning from Indonesia can now access a 30% Ringers Western discount code, by posting evidence online that they’ve binned their shoes overseas.

“Throw out those tired old thongs. Bin them at the airport or your hotel and post proof on social media, and we’ll help you buy a shiny new pair. It’s that simple,” Ms Simson said.

Ms Simson said this unprecedented step by industry demonstrates how serious the situation is.

“I never thought we’d be helping people buy new shoes to keep my cattle safe, but here we are.

“FMD arriving in Australia is a nightmare scenario for farmers like me. There’s literally nothing we won’t do to keep it out and keep our animals safe.”

For those who aren’t ready to part with their shoes, Ms Simson said a thorough clean is the next best thing.

“Before you pack your bag to come home, take the time to give your shoes a good clean – paying particular attention to any mud that might be caught in the tread.

“Taking that minute to clean your shoes could prevent a serious disaster back in Australia. Clean shoes are just a bonus.

“Most importantly, don’t head straight back to a farm when you get off the plane – we need to keep our country safe,” Ms Simson concluded.

To receive your 30% Ringers Western discount code, simply post a selfie binning your shoes while on holiday, using the hashtag #ThrowYourThongs and tagging in the National Farmers’ Federation. A code will be sent to the first 500 posters. Offer ends 20 July 2022.