Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates the ongoing review and maintenance of Australia’s terrestrial animal biosecurity manuals and government statements.
AHA also manages the Farm Biosecurity Program in partnership with Plant Health Australia.
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 into Australia.
A biosecurity plan contains all the measures used to reduce the risk 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 for their industry or jurisdiction.
The plans or statements are endorsed by all other parties to the EADRA and are regularly reviewed and maintained.
How to fill out a biosecurity plan
Government biosecurity statements and strategies
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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 on the Farm Biosecurity website.
The Farm Biosecurity website also includes plant biosecurity manuals for the cropping and horticultural sectors that are maintained by Plant Health Australia.
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.
Farm Biosecurity Program
Livestock owners know their livestock and are more likely to notice a problem before anyone else will. They 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 for containment and eradication.
It is important that everyone plays their part in biosecurity to ensuring we are all adequately protected from potential biosecurity risks such as pests, disease and weeds. Regardless of the scale of your enterprise (from pet livestock to commercial producers), the first step towards reducing biosecurity risk is implementing a biosecurity plan that specifically addresses the unique risks that your business faces.
For more information visit the Farm Biosecurity website.
Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates industry-funded programs to manage some diseases in sheep, cattle, goats, deer and alpacas. Controlling livestock movements can be important for disease management and livestock traceability.
States and territory requirements
When moving livestock from one property to another, owners must follow mandatory requirements (e.g. traceability) depending on which animals are being moved and where they are going.
State and territory government agencies often require movement documents, such as animal health declarations, for movement of livestock into them. They may also require testing and/or certification.
Before moving any livestock to a different state/territory, owners should check the requirements with a local animal health officer or on the relevant state or territory website: