Livestock producers are being reminded to complete a farm biosecurity plan and regularly review their biosecurity practices to ensure they are prepared.
The focus on biosecurity comes as major changes come into effect over the coming months including the integration of biosecurity requirements in the Livestock Production Assurance program for cattle, sheep and goats and a new on-farm approach to Johne’s disease management in cattle using the voluntary risk management tool Johne’s Beef Assurance Score.
LPA changes will come into effect on October 1, with accredited sheep, goat and cattle producers needing to complete a farm biosecurity plan to demonstrate a number of factors.
Owners will need to demonstrate they minimise the risk of introducing and spreading infectious diseases on their properties, manage and record the introduction and movement of livestock and where practical control and record people, equipment and vehicles entering the property.
Efforts taken to control and regularly monitor livestock health on-farm, and ensure all livestock movements between owners are accompanied by an Animal Health Declaration or equivalent, will also need to be demonstrated through the plan.
Cattle producers who have developed a biosecurity plan as part of their approach to Johne’s disease management do not need to create a second plan to satisfy the requirement.
Red Meat Advisory Council chair Don Mackay emphasised the importance of biosecurity as a key competitive advantage for Australian red meat producers.
‘‘Most livestock producers understand the benefits of robust on-farm biosecurity practices to their individual businesses but also to the future productivity and sustainability of the industry both domestically and globally,’’ he said.
‘‘The integration of biosecurity requirements into the LPA program highlights the significance of completing a thorough farm biosecurity plan.
‘‘And to help producers understand what is required under these new program changes, a specific learning module to guide them through LPA’s on-farm biosecurity requirements will be available in July.’’
All LPA-accredited producers will receive information on the changes towards the end of July.
■For more information on LPA requirements, or to download a Farm Biosecurity Plan template, go to: www.mla.com.au/integrity