Farm Biosecurity Plan
Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates a number of biosecurity programs for Australia’s livestock industries, governments and veterinarians.
Effective biosecurity at the enterprise and industry level is considered to be extremely important in mitigating the risk of the introduction or spread of animal diseases.
An on-farm biosecurity plan is a requirement for maintaining a Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) and will be a requirement for the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program in the future.
Developing a farm biosecurity plan
A farm biosecurity plan contains all the measures used to mitigate the risks of disease entry or spread.
The On-farm biosecurity plan template for all grazing species (fillable form, best opened in Google Chrome or download a Word copy) is for producers to work through, with links to supporting documents to access and fill in as required. An additional action list, outlining biosecurity activities to be undertaken over the next 12 months, would help to make this a robust on-farm biosecurity plan specific to the property.
Australia’s grazing industries have published the National farm biosecurity reference manual—grazing livestock production as the basis for developing a farm biosecurity plan.
- assess the risk of introducing weeds, pests and diseases posed by recent and current management and take steps to reduce that risk.
- always ask for a health declaration when buying cattle, sheep, goats and alpacas to assess and manage the risk of stock offered for sale.
- assume responsibility for managing the risks of diseases on their property.
- maintain good on-farm biosecurity practices.
- if selling your animals interstate, be familiar with the rules and restrictions on trading cattle interstate
Additional JD requirements for cattle:
- ask for a J-BAS when buying beef breeds of cattle.
- ask for the Dairy BJD Assurance Score when buying dairy breeds of cattle or beef breeds from dairy holdings.
AHA has created a short video to help you fill out your plan – watch below:
Johne’s disease FAQs
Do you have unanswered questions about Johne’s disease? Head on over to our FAQ page to see if we can help
Resources for implementing a biosecurity plan for J-BAS
J-BAS is underpinned by having a general property biosecurity plan (which will also be used for LPA from 1 October 2017), but with an additional Johne’s disease element included. As J-BAS itself is a tool for voluntary use by producers trading cattle, there is no property plan mandated for use with it.
UPDATE: In an important update for producers, herds with a transition score of J-BAS 7 or 8 became J-BAS 6, rather than J-BAS 0, if no on-farm biosecurity plan was in place by 1 July 2017. Producers have an opportunity to return their herds to J-BAS 7 or 8 by implementing a biosecurity plan (overseen and signed by their veterinarian) and conducting the first of their triennial check-tests by 30 June 2018 with clear results. Read more here
However, several documents based on the National Farm Biosecurity Reference Manual—Grazing Livestock Production and JD Biosecurity Checklist have been developed to allow producers to meet the on-farm biosecurity planning requirement:
- The On-farm biosecurity plan template, with the additional page specific to J-BAS, (fillable form, best opened in Google Chrome) is for producers to work through, with links to supporting documents to access and fill in as required. An additional action list, outlining biosecurity activities to be undertaken over the next 12 months, would help to make this a robust on-farm biosecurity plan specific to the property.
- BioCheck® – a property biosecurity planning program developed by the Australian Cattle Veterinarians. Producers should talk to their local cattle veterinarian about using this planning tool, particularly if interested in maintaining a J-BAS of 7 or 8.
Producers may use any of the above plans or, while discouraged, develop their own if it satisfies the J-BAS requirements.
Some markets may have a preference for what is used.
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.
What do I do with the plan?
- There is no need to lodge a plan with anyone.
- If veterinary supervision is required for J-BAS 7 and 8, then work with your veterinarian.
- Implement the plan – any items identified as requiring attention should be acted on during the following 12 months before you then review the plan.
- Make sure all staff are aware of the plan.
- Keep your plan and any related documents on hand for future reference.