Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates national animal biosecurity services to protect Australia’s unique environment and support our trade reputation as a supplier of healthy animals and high quality animal products, offering a broad range of biosecurity services ranging from project management on behalf of our members, through to assistance with on-farm biosecurity planning through the Biosecurity Extension Team. If you require assistance with biosecurity planning please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s happening in animal biosecurity
Changes to New South Wales Biosecurity Act 2015
From 1 August 2019, people entering areas where a Biosecurity Management Plan applies must comply with the measures outlined in the plan.
Arrangements in Biosecurity Management Plans aim to prevent, eliminate, and minimise the biosecurity risks posed by people entering a place at which commercial agricultural or horticultural activity, including processing and education, occurs.
Failure to comply with these arrangements when dealing with biosecurity matter, such as animals or produce, may be an offence under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Penalties can include an on the spot fine of $1000 or a court ordered fine of $220,000 for individuals and $440,000 for corporations.
For more information, including biosecurity signage updates click here.
Changes to Queensland Biosecurity Regulation 2016
On 26 April 2019, the Queensland Government introduced additional regulations to address potential biosecurity risks of unauthorised entry to places where animals are kept. Under the amendment, anybody that enters a property must comply with the property’s biosecurity management plan while being on the premises.
Further information about how the changes can affect you and how to support the security of your property can be found here.
For Queensland producers to take advantage of this legislation change, it is critical that producers update their biosecurity plan to meet the new biosecurity regulation, including greater focus on entry and exit procedures to your property. For those that do not wish to incorporate this additional layer of security for their properties, no action is required, however if a biosecurity management plan is not in place on the property, the legislation may not be enforceable for unauthorised access.
AHA has a template for developing a biosecurity management plan available for download:
- On-Farm Biosecurity Plan template – all species
- On-Farm Biosecurity Plan template – JD specific information
Biosecurity Queensland have prepared a checklist to assist producers in dealing with unauthorised entry including further advice and signage recommendations here. They have also developed a template for access point signage that aligns with the new regulations that can be found here.
Biosecurity for Livestock Owners
Biosecurity is everyone’s business and it’s important that everyone plays their part. Australia has several layers of biosecurity systems that protect our livestock sectors including pre-border biosecurity that prevent things from coming into the country as well as systems that manage risks coming into the state. After these, our greatest line of defence are livestock owners.
Livestock owners know their livestock and are more likely to notice a problem before anyone else will. You are our greatest biosecurity defence when it comes to surveillance and reducing the impact of a serious animal disease by ensuring suspected animal diseases are reported quickly so disease can be contained and eradicated. Playing your part in biosecurity involves ensuring you are adequately protected from potential biosecurity risks such as pests, disease and weeds. The first step towards this is implementing a biosecurity plan that specifically addresses the unique risks that your business faces.
For more information visit the Farm Biosecurity website.
AHA’s Biosecurity Programs
AHA’s Biosecurity Program brings together all projects associated with reducing biosecurity risks that livestock production industries may face.
We achieve this by working with our members in the space of biosecurity to contribute to the greater Australian biosecurity system. AHA are involved in, or manages, several projects that work towards improving animal health and minimising the risk of an exotic disease incursions such as:
- Newcastle disease (ND) management plan – provides an integrated national approach to ND prevention and management in the poultry industry that aims to reduce the risk and impact of future outbreaks of Australian-origin ND
- Screw-worm Fly Program – Australia do not have Screw-worm fly and nor do we want them. The program raises awareness on what Screw-worm flies look like and aims to detect an incursion early enough to ensure a high likelihood of success of an eradication program.
- TSE Freedom Assurance Program – Australia is free from transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), including scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) which is mad cow disease. The program aims to work with producers and private veterinarians to collect samples of animals consistent with TSE symptoms to continue to prove we are negative of the disease to our trade partners.
- Farm Biosecurity Program is a joint initiative of AHA and Plant Health Australia and is a great resource for producers wishing to address biosecurity on their farms.
- Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill) Compliance and Awareness Project is a project involving government and industry (Australian Pork Limited) that aims to minimise the chance of an emergency animal disease emerging in Australia through swill feeding to pigs.
- The Sheep Health Project aims to reduce the financial impacts of endemic diseases and other livestock production conditions on farm productivity and supply chain productivity in Australia.
- National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)—Australia’s scheme for identifying and tracing livestock
- Farm Biosecurity website
- Australia’s Biosecurity System—Australian Government Department of Agriculture
- National Pests & Disease Outbreaks—Australian Government