Producers leading the way on biosecurity

19 November 2019

While Australia is foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free, responding to and recovering from an outbreak could cost $50 billion over 10 years. Producers are now taking the lead to enhance emergency disease surveillance, preparedness and response.

The FMD Ready Project, led by CSIRO and co-funded by MLA, brings together researchers and the FMD-susceptible industries of beef, dairy cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, to improve preparedness.

More than 1,000 producers have contributed to the project by participating in a survey, interviews and joining groups to demonstrate the value of producer-led partnerships to improve livestock surveillance.

Goat producers getting prepared

In October, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA 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 canvassed 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 guidebook.

Each pilot group involved in the FMD Ready Project – including the goat group – is working on local solutions to improve surveillance and biosecurity, as well as identifying challenges and opportunities at state and national levels.

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