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Goat producers partner for improved animal health surveillance in Australia

10 March 2020

A new project is looking at how Australian producers can ramp up their on-farm surveillance to get prepared for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD).

What is the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Ready* project?

The Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Ready project includes four sub-projects, one of which explores producer-led partnerships to improve on-farm surveillance.

It has established five pilot groups across five states in Australia – one for each of the FMD-susceptible livestock industries, which include goat, beef, sheep, dairy and pork. These pilot groups are focusing on areas of interest to them, such as improving awareness and recognition of disease in livestock through post-mortem and diagnostic sampling workshops, herd health training and improving feedback to producers from abattoirs.

How are goat producers getting involved?

In October 2019, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions in South Australia hosted the third Goat Innovation Platform pilot. Goat producers and vets came together to discuss industry issues, with guest speaker Dr Sandra Baxendell from GoatvetOz presenting on Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis and Johne’s disease.

John Falkenhagen, President of the Goat Industry Council of Australia, updated the group on the latest news and initiatives in the industry and canvased the idea of the group’s continuation beyond the project, which was well-received.

The group is also in the process of developing a goat disease guide book.