Biosecurity boost as disease free deadline nears

Wednesday 05 October 2011 | From Dairy Australia

Australian dairy farmers are urged to maintain farm biosecurity as Australia prepares to claim freedom from the cattle viral disease Enzootic Bovine Leucosis (EBL).

2012 will see Australian dairying officially declared free of EBL, following a 15 year campaign across the industry.

Dairy Australia’s Robin Condron, Manager Risk Analysis said: “Effective on-farm biosecurity is needed to protect dairy herds from the introduction of infectious diseases, and to validate the EBL disease-free claim.”

Dairy Australia has prepared a how-to mailout to help farmers.

The easy-to-read 10 page booklet Dairy Biosecurity: Healthy farms, together with animal welfare guides, help reduce the risks to a farm business. The guide will also be available on the Dairy Australia website www.dairyaustralia.com.au

Robin said: “Biosecurity arrangements for EBL are important following the eradication of the disease from the Australian dairy herd.

“Not all beef herds are free of EBL, so, before introducing beef cattle onto their properties, dairy farmers should test each individual animal.

“Alternatively, they should only source beef animals from herds that have tested negative for EBL.”

The booklet details useful information on stock movement, contact with wildlife and vermin, fencing, waste treatment and dealing with dead stock.

“It helps explain biosecurity and the role it plays in protecting your farm and the whole Australian dairy industry from the introduction of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease,” Robin said.

“On-farm security assesses and manages risks from animal diseases, pests and weeds. It should form part of normal farm business risk management.”

This is one of the many examples of the dairy service levy at work. Farmers receive a benefit of $3 for every $1 invested by Dairy Australia on their behalf. For more information on this and other levy investments visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au

Dairy Australia is the national services body for the Australian dairy industry. The company acts as the collective investment arm of the industry, investing in essential research, development, extension and industry services.