What is farm biosecurity and why is it important?

Farm biosecurity brings together a range of practices to keep livestock free from diseases and pests. Keeping pests and diseases out is important because they can:

  • reduce on-farm productivity 
  • affect farm incomes 
  • affect animal welfare 
  • reduce the value of farming land
  • close export markets or reduce export prices
  • some diseases can also be passed to humans.

What are the risks?

The biggest risk is complacency. Existing diseases and pests in Australia already cost huge amounts to control. That’s where farm biosecurity comes in – providing the next level of protection for your farm or property.

Australia’s national biosecurity system is at its most effective when protection is in place at many levels – at the national level, at the state/territory level, at a regional level and at the individual farm or property level.

How can I maintain biosecurity on my farm?

Farm biosecurity highlights five key areas of risk as the main ways disease is spread:

  • people and livestock movement 
  • product movement 
  • vehicles and equipment 
  • feed and water 
  • pests and weeds 

The Animal Health Australia website also contains useful biosecurity information, available at www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au.

Who should I contact if I suspect an outbreak of an exotic disease?

If you suspect a pest or disease outbreak or have seen something unusual and you’re not sure whether it’s an exotic pest or disease – report it. You can call the free Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

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