Queensland cattle producers will now have an extra three months to prepare biosecurity plans after Animal Health Australia and the Cattle Council of Australia agreed to be flexible on new requirements for managing Johne’s disease.
AgForce Cattle President Bim Struss says many producers were only now becoming aware of new biosecurity obligations and what they needed to do to continue to trade with the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
“The new national approach to Johne’s disease in cattle has seen most states remove regulations, including here in Queensland, with Animal Health Australia developing a Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) for cattle producers to manage on-farm risks themselves. However, the NT and WA have decided to legislate minimum entry requirements that include a biosecurity plan, and in the case of WA, herd testing. “
Mr Struss says that a biosecurity plan will also soon be required for producers to be accredited under the Livestock Production Assurance program overseen by Meat and Livestock Australia.
“There has been a lot of confusion and frustration about the various new requirements. Many producers have been concerned they will not have a biosecurity plan in place by 30 June, meaning their J-BAS could drop to zero and take years to build back up.”
“AgForce approached Animal Health Australia and Cattle Council of Australia urging flexibility and more support for producers, with these organizations now agreeing to a three-month extension before the new Johne’s disease management framework takes full effect.”
“An extra three months will at least give producers some much needed breathing space and their J-BAS will stay at level six rather than drop back to zero from 1 July.”
AgForce and Livestock Biosecurity Network will be holding a series of biosecurity planning workshops throughout June to provide Queensland producers with a choice of templates and information on how to design a biosecurity plan that suits their individual business needs.
As well the organization is also conducting an online survey to gain a better understanding of current on-farm biosecurity knowledge, capability and practices.
To fill out the biosecurity survey go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JPJDX8R, while more information about the biosecurity changes and links to templates are available on the AgForce website at http://bit.ly/2svNnmy