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Biosecurity Planning and Implementation

Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates the ongoing review and maintenance of Australia’s animal biosecurity plans and statements contained in Australia’s animal biosecurity manuals.

Why biosecurity planning is important

Effective biosecurity at the enterprise and industry level is considered extremely important in mitigating the risk of the introduction or spread of animal diseases, and especially for an emergency animal disease.

A biosecurity plan contains all the measures used to mitigate the risks of disease entry or spread. All parties to the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) are required to develop, implement and maintain a biosecurity plan or statement in their industry or jurisdiction.

The plans or statements are endorsed by all other parties to the EADRA and regularly reviewed and maintained.

Government biosecurity plans and statements

Australian Government

To maintain the integrity of the national border in the area of biosecurity, the Australian Government is responsible for quarantine and international animal health matters, including disease reporting, export certification and trade negotiation. It maintains and improves international trade and market access opportunities by establishing scientifically based quarantine policies, providing effective technical advice and promoting biosecurity measures. Under the Australian Constitution, state and territory governments have primary carriage of animal health matters in their jurisdictions.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The ACT biosecurity statement contains information on policies and programs for pest, weed and animal disease prevention and control. ACT Government activities contribute to increased biosecurity, and this statement outlines mandatory practices for ACT farmers.

New South Wales (NSW)

The NSW biosecurity statement operates in accordance with the EADRA. It describes biosecurity policies and procedures for the prevention and control of emergency animal diseases. The NSW Government has a 13-point strategy to protect animal populations from transmissible infectious agents. This statement delivers technical information to stakeholders on how to maintain Australia’s exotic disease-free status and prevent the introduction of pests, weeds and diseases.

Northern Territory (NT)

The NT biosecurity statement outlines the policies and programs for biosecurity, including the quarantine barrier, involvement in the North Australia Quarantine Strategy, passive disease surveillance, public health and the environment. The statement describes mandatory practices for NT farmers to protect their properties against the spread of diseases, pests and weeds, including mandatory identification of cattle, mandatory waybills for stock movements and feral animal control.


The Queensland Government’s biosecurity statement outlines policies and programs to reduce the risk of entry and spread of transmissible infectious agents that could cause emergency animal diseases, including feral animal management, public health controls and environmental matters. It outlines mandatory practices for Queensland farmers to reduce the risk of biosecurity threats.

South Australia

The South Australian Government has policies, programs and procedures to maintain the state’s freedom from pests and diseases that could adversely affect public health, food safety, market access, rural economy and the environment. It maintains infrastructure and resources to prevent, detect, manage and respond to serious animal diseases.


The Tasmanian Government’s statement outlines the policies and programs to reduce the risk of incursions of an emergency animal disease, including barrier control, prevention of high-risk activities and disease surveillance. It also outlines the infrastructure and resources in place to prevent, detect, manage and respond to serious animal diseases. By implementing a stringent quarantine policy, Tasmania has capitalised on its island status to restrict the entry of disease pathogens.


The Victorian Government biosecurity statement details the policies, programs and procedures to protect the state from biosecurity risks. It outlines the bodies involved in biosecurity implementation and recommended practices for farmers to increase biosecurity. Victoria has strict legislation prohibiting actions that could put the state’s agricultural sector at risk via the introduction of diseases, pests or weeds.

Western Australia

The Western Australian Government biosecurity statement outlines policies and programs to reduce the risk of incursions of an emergency animal disease and manage any incursions. It details how to record and report disease occurrences and livestock movements via information management systems to minimise the introduction of biosecurity treats.

Animal biosecurity manuals

A biosecurity manual contains all the measures that are used to reduce the risks of diseases entering a property or spreading from a property. AHA, in collaboration with industry bodies, researchers and government agencies, works to develop, review and maintain farm biosecurity manuals for all member industries.

Access AHA’s animal biosecurity manuals (listed below) on the Farm Biosecurity website.

Biosecurity planning for livestock saleyards

Saleyards pose unique biosecurity risks, due to the volume and diversity of livestock which might pass through. AHA has developed a planning template for saleyard owners and operators to assist in identifying and mitigating biosecurity risks in these facilities.

Economic benefits of farm biosecurity

Farm biosecurity is concerned with the monitoring and control of animate and inanimate farm inputs, such as animals, people, machinery and feedstuffs.

AHA commissioned a report in 2008 to determine the cost–benefits of introducing farm biosecurity measures in a defined part of the cattle industry.

Related links


Page reviewed: 14/08/2020