Are you the next NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion?

2014 CCA Rising Champion Sam Becker with Geoff Rose from NAB and CCA President Geoff Ogilvie.

2014 Rising Champion Sam Becker with Geoff Rose from NAB and former CCA President Geoff Ogilvie.

Cattle Council of Australia, a Member of Animal Health Australia, is seeking young beef producers and industry representatives across the country to apply for the 2015 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion.

Now in its fifth year, the initiative attracts young beef industry enthusiasts from across the country interested in having their say on national policy decisions.

Aimed at nurturing and encouraging the next generation of advocates for the cattle industry, the 2015 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion is open to producers aged between 21 and 35 years of age.

“Rising Champions is about providing young people involved in beef supply chain with the opportunity to have input into issues that will have an impact upon their career and their future,” says CCA President Howard Smith.

“Past Rising Champions have benefited from gaining industry contacts and a foot in the door”.

Finalists will spend three days in Canberra attending the Catherine Marriot Personal Development Workshop, Parliamentary tour and discussions at the Department of Agriculture.  Finalists will be asked to make a presentation on a topic that has been chosen by Cattle Council, NAB Agribusiness and their local SFOs within areas of trade and market access, the environment, research and development and animal health and welfare and biosecurity.

Sam Becker our 2014 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion states “It is important for the youth of today to take advantage of these opportunities within the beef industry. This initiative has provided me with some amazing contacts and allowed me to gain skills that I can use throughout my career”

The person that demonstrates the greatest leadership potential will win the title of ‘2015 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion’ to be announced at a Gala Dinner on the 19th August at the National Press Club. This title will include joining CCA at the Five Nations Beef Alliance Conference held in October in Mexico. They will also be provided with a seat on one of the local CCA committees, voice ideas and concerns for youth development and guest speaking roles at functions as determined by Cattle Council.

Once again, this award is made possible through Cattle Council’s initiative partners including NAB Agribusiness, McDonalds Australia, Fairfax Media and the State Farming Organisations.

Applications are available via the Cattle Council website.

Applications close Midnight 7th June 2015

Consultation begins on revised framework for assessment of agricultural and veterinary chemicals

The views of industry and the community is a key part of this project.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s (APVMA) has commenced developing a risk framework for determining the appropriate regulatory effort to be used in assessing applications for product registration or active approval.

As a result of its risk based assessment framework project, APVMA aims to identify and implement practical improvements and incorporate more efficient processes in the way it makes risk assessments.

The project seeks to develop a clear framework in which more proportional and effective regulatory responses, including lighter touch and more streamlined interventions for products of lower regulatory risk (however defined), can be developed and implemented.

Seeking the views of industry and the community is a key part of this project.

The APVMA will be consulting with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the duration the project, with reports to be made available for information or comment at various stages of the process.

To see whether there are any consultation processes underway, refer to the APVMA consultation page. Comments on the project or any reports that have been released are welcome at any time.

For more information visit APVMA’s website or get in touch using the details below.


Risk Based Assessment Framework Project Manager

Phone: +61 2 6210 4768

Fax: +61 2 6210 4776



Australia’s biggest beef event is here!


Beef Australia runs from 4- 9 May in Rockhampton.

Beef Australia 2015, one of the world’s greatest cattle events, kicks off today. Held every three years in Rockhampton, Beef Australia is a celebration of the Australian beef industry, drawing international industry leaders from around the world to facilitate new trade and export opportunities.

This year, Austrade, together with the organisers of Beef Australia, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, will host a large international delegation from China, as well as Brazil and Argentina.

The event is expected to attract over 85,000 visitors over 5 days from more than 30 countries, with 4500 cattle of numerous breeds on display, in conjunction with a trade fair promoting more than 500 businesses.

There is also a conference, seminars and property tours to deliver new research information to producers and restaurants and cooking demonstrations for visitors to appreciate the quality and flavour of Australian beef.

Animal Health Australia Chairman Mr Peter Milne and CEO Ms Kathleen Plowman will be attending a range of Beef Australia 2015  events including a special industry session on Branding Australia  which examines what it means and how do we support it.

Mr Milne and Ms Plowman will also take this opportunity to meet and engage with producers, regulators and companies from across the Australian beef supply supply chain on matters relating to Australia’s animal health system, biosecurity and market access.

Visit the Beef Australia 2015 website for more information.

New-look AHSQ now available


The newly revamped AHSQ is now out.

The latest issue of Animal Health Surveillance Quarterly (October – December 2014) is now available for download from the Animal Health Australia (AHA) website by clicking on the following link: AHSQ Vol 19, Issue 14

AHA has responded to increased demand for electronic versions of AHSQ, with the publication now being delivered straight to subscribers’ inboxes – in full colour!

Sporting a revamped and easier to read design, AHSQ will continue to cover investigations of disease incidents, monitoring and surveillance activities from the states and territories.

Subscribers are being urged to update or provide their email address so they don’t miss out on receiving the new electronic versions of AHSQ. Please email your details to

The October – December 2014 issue of AHSQ contains:

  1. Message from the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer
  2. Live Trace – answering critical questions for animal disease response
  3. National Arbovirus Monitoring Program report
  4. Wildlife Health Australia
  5. Aquatic Animal Health
  6. State and territory reports
  7. Quarterly statistics

About AHSQ

AHA publishes AHSQ to provide disease reporting that is transparent, honest and timely as part of its National Animal Health Information System (NAHIS) project.

The NAHIS project provides accurate summary information on Australia’s animal health status to support trade in animal commodities and meet Australia’s international reporting obligations. It also provides information on Australia’s capabilities and activities with regard to animal disease surveillance and control.

To provide feedback on the new-look AHSQ please email:

Keep market access open – cattle producers’ help wanted

Taking a blood sample for  NAMP.

Taking a blood sample for NAMP.

Cattle producers across Australia are wanted to support the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) which monitors the distribution of insect-borne viruses of ruminant livestock, and their insect vectors, in Australia.

Known as NAMP ‘co-operators’, participating cattle producers are required to provide between 10-30 cattle for blood sampling by government officers at agreed intervals throughout the year. Sampling frequency is often as little as once or twice per year.

Co-operators are also required to hang an insect trap during agreed months throughout the year. The traps are automatic, run for several nights and co-operators are asked to send the bottle of collected insects to the relevant government officer.

Only a small amount of time is required each year and allowances are provided to contribute toward the cost of mustering cattle for NAMP and handling insect traps.

NAMP co-operators help all cattle, sheep and goat producers in Australia, who benefit economically (either directly or indirectly) from export opportunities for live animals and their genetic material.

The NAMP is wholly dependent upon the cooperation of cattle producers and new co-operators are always wanted. If you would like more information about the NAMP or are a cattle producer who would like to be a NAMP co-operator, please contact the relevant officers listed below:

Deborah Finlaison New South Wales 02 4640 6335
Lorna Melville Northern Territory 08 8999 2251
Bruce Hill Queensland 07 3276 6059
Trent Scholz South Australia 08 8648 5166
Rowena Bell Tasmania 03 6777 2135
Kelly Porter Victoria 03 9217 4217
Marion Seymour Western Australia 08 9651 0555



Hatch your own biosecurity plan with new manual

AHA0381_Egg_Manual_CoverEgg producers now have a new addition to their biosecurity toolkits with the launch of the National Farm Biosecurity Technical Manual for Egg Production, produced by Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) and Animal Health Australia (AHA).

AHA’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland said the Manual applies to commercial table egg production farms.

“The Manual covers all aspects of egg production, from the time of delivery of new layers until depopulation of the spent layer hens, including transportation and delivery of point of lay pullets,” Mr Rowland said.

“Importantly, the Manual also covers the transport and movement of eggs and egg products to other farms, grading and processing establishments.

Mr Rowland highlighted that the Manual, which was developed by industry, provides tailored information and the latest, up-to-date tips and advice to avoid endemic and exotic diseases coming on to the property.

“The Manual discusses important aspects of biosecurity including explaining the major routes for disease and pathogen transmission, outlining the basic principles of biosecurity, highlighting best practice biosecurity procedures that can be included into everyday production management routines and also includes a suit of templates and checklists that producers can adapt for their own situation,” he said.

All egg producers are encouraged to obtain a copy and ensure it is made available to staff, contractors and any family or friends helping out with egg production.

A PDF of the Manual can be downloaded for free on the Farm Biosecurity website or contact AECL at

World Veterinary Day highlights vector-borne diseases

Veterinarians – who work at the animal-human-environment interface – play an important role in safeguarding public health.

Veterinarians play an important role in safeguarding public health.

Each year World Veterinary Day raises public awareness about the importance of veterinarians in areas such as public health, food safety, environmental protection, animal welfare and poverty reduction.

In 2015, World Veterinary Day on 25 April highlighted the significant global impact of vector-borne zoonotic diseases (insect borne viruses that can be transmitted from animals to humans).

Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are becoming a major public health concern in all world regions, with global climate change and human activity are changing the spread and distribution of emerging and re-emerging vector-borne zoonotic diseases and outbreaks.

Veterinarians – who work at the animal-human-environment interface – play an important role in safeguarding public health.

The work of Australian government and private veterinarians (often in partnership with others) to manage vector-borne zoonotic diseases includes surveillance and monitoring, research, vaccination development and trials, extension work and collaboration and coordination with human health organisations.

Animal Health Australia (AHA) supports this national effort by promoting disease awareness, coordinating surveillance activities and reporting efforts. AHA also maintains the AUSTVETPLAN manuals, and other critical Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) response arrangements.

For more details about World Veterinary Day in 2015, see the OIE website or the World Veterinary Association website.

Submissions now closed for BJD review

A_Beef%200233_jpgCattle producers and other members of the public had until 3 May to provide comment on a recently-released discussion paper that will help determine the future of Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) management in Australia.

BJD management in Australia is an important issue for cattle producers and it is currently being revised through the National BJD Review. Animal Health Australia (AHA) is coordinating the Review on behalf of industry and government and is seeking submissions from all interested parties, said AHA’s Executive Manager of Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland.

“We welcome assistance from the general public and, specifically, interested cattle producers in helping to answer some of the questions that will eventually contribute to the repositioning of how Johne’s disease in cattle is dealt with into the future,” Mr Rowland said.

“The 108 attendees at the recent BJD forum, held on the 16 February in Sydney, were clear that they want to see a single, national approach that works across all cattle industry sectors including beef, stud, feedlot and dairy.

“Submissions on the discussion paper will be received from any interested parties up to midnight on 3 May 2015, with all submissions being made public, unless otherwise requested, and placed on the Review’s webpage.

“The submissions will be used by the Review’s reference panel to progress the development of the Review and the development of a national approach to the management of Johne’s disease in cattle,” he said.

“Public consultation on the discussion paper is the second of four opportunities provided for public feedback on the development of future BJD activities in Australia.

“The reference panel will meet on 15 May to review the submissions and progress the development of the new plan. Once a draft Plan has been developed it will also go out for public comment,” Mr Rowland said.

The discussion paper and further information on the National BJD Review can be found here. Enquiries into the Review can be sent to

About the National BJD Strategic Plan

The National BJD Strategic Plan is a cooperative program involving Australian livestock industries, government and the veterinary profession to help cattle industries reduce the spread and impact of BJD in Australia.

The current key goals are to help minimise the contamination of farms and farm products, support the protection of non‐infected herds while minimising disruption to trade and to help reduce the social, economic and trade impact of BJD at herd, regional and national levels. AHA is not involved in the development of policy on BJD management.

AHA’s role is to manage the BJD review by coordinating meetings between industry, government and key stakeholders, manage public consultation and facilitate key policy discussions and document development.


Taking stock to show

Bull-at-the-showWith the annual show season underway kicking off with the Sydney Royal Easter Show, it is a timely reminder of the simple biosecurity measures producers should adopt to prevent unwanted diseases, pests and weeds hitching a ride back from shows and events.

Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland, said there is a biosecurity risk whenever animals from different properties are brought together in common locations such as shows, saleyards and other events, but there are a number of measures producers can take to limit the risk.

“There are many ways that disease may be directly transmitted among animals and carried back to other properties. For example, transporting animals for others, or allowing direct contact, greatly increase the chance of transmitting a disease,” Mr Rowland said.

“Diseases and pests can be transmitted on contaminated boots and clothing, feeding and grooming equipment, tack, pens, feed and other common objects that come into contact with livestock at shows.”

“To avoid disease spread, it is recommended that producers do not allow their livestock to use communal water troughs, graze on the event grounds or feed on hay on the ground,” Mr Rowland said.

Producers should also check to see what biosecurity measures the venues have in place, but as horse owner Kim Wearn says, it is up to the animal’s owner to take their own precautions.

“When I take my horse to an event, firstly I make sure he is in good health before he gets on the trailer. When I arrive at the event I make sure that he is going into a clean stall and if it needs to be cleaned, I clean and disinfect it first,” Ms Wearn said.

“I also make sure my horse is not placed near sick horses, take my own clean water buckets and  fully vaccinate my horse against disease,” Ms Wearn said.

Mr Rowland highlighted that biosecurity doesn’t stop when producers leave the shows and events with their animals.

“Transport vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned before returning home and immediately upon return.”

“As the signs of many diseases emerge days later, keeping returned stock quarantined for a period of 21 days is one of the simplest ways producers can protect both their livestock and their livelihood.”

“Similar precautions should be taken with any fodder brought back with you. Inspecting fodder for pests and weeds when purchasing, and isolating new fodder when it comes on to your property to check for the germination of any weeds, will help prevent the spread of weeds or pests that may contaminate your property,” Mr Rowland said.

Biosecurity tips for taking your animals to shows, events and sales

  • Only take healthy animals.
  • Do not share equipment, and if you must, clean and disinfect prior to use.
  • If possible, feed and water your livestock separately from others and don’t allow other people to feed them.
  • Ensure pens and housing areas are properly cleaned before allowing your stock to enter.
  • Regularly inspect your stock for any signs of disease while at the event.
  • Always transport your own livestock; if not, verify the cleaning and hygiene practices of your transport provider.
  • Seek advice from your vet on the best way to confirm livestock health.
  • Isolate returning stock for 21 days.

Wool industry rejects misleading claims

SPeak wool industry representative body, WoolProducers Australia, has released a media statement refuting the ridiculous claims made by animal rights activists PETA regarding the Australian wool industry, in their latest campaign targeting the shearing industry.

Australian wool growers protect the health and welfare of their sheep through a variety of animal husbandry practices that are suited to the sheep type and the environment.

Sheep producers are continually investing in sheep health and welfare. Over the last five years, more than $50 million has been spent on research and development, biosecurity, health and welfare programs.

Wool growers tend to their sheep every day, using appropriate and often world leading husbandry and management practices.

However, animal extremists wilfully ignore and misrepresent wool growers’ strong desire to protect their sheep from harm. This recent campaign by PETA has seen them resorting to using a fake lamb supposedly showing the after-effects of shearing, which is clearly deceitful and misrepresentative of the usual practice of shearing.

Animal rights groups also ignore the large body of scientific evidence that confirms the major advances in animal welfare made across Australia in recent years.

Wool remains an environmentally friendly, sustainable, renewable resource that is low allergen.  It is fire resistant, thermo-regulatory, and durable and of course is a naturally beautiful fibre.