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Biosecurity relates to preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, invasive pests or weeds.

Biosecurity programs are designed to prevent the spread of infectious disease and invasive pests or weeds between farms as well as protecting Australia from diseases and weeds that occur overseas. These programs also address the containment of disease outbreaks when they occur.

Biosecurity for Australian livestock enterprises include:

  • Farm biosecurity plans
  • Industry biosecurity programs

Farm biosecurity plans

There are two parts to a farm biosecurity plan:

  1. Measures to reduce the risk of introducing an infectious disease, pest or weed onto the property.
  2. Measures to reduce the risk of spreading an infectious disease within a property.

Industry biosecurity plans

Industry biosecurity programs aim to prevent and control emergency animal diseases. Emergency diseases can cause heavy mortalities and production losses or impact trade, human health or the environment.

Emergency animal diseases are usually notifiable and must be reported.

Reporting notifiable diseases

A notifiable disease must be reported immediately to relevant authorities. If a producer suspects or can confirm that an animal is showing symptoms of a notifiable disease it must be reported to a local vet or by phoning the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) maintains a national list and state and territory lists of notifiable animal diseases.