Biosecurity is a shared responsibility across the red meat and wool supply chains. The best way producers can safeguard themselves is by minimising the risk of pest or disease entering their property through the implementation of good biosecurity practices.
Three steps which livestock producers can follow to enhance their on-farm biosecurity are:
A risk assessment encourages producers to think of all the ways in which a pest or disease may enter their property. This will help to identify the practices they are already doing or highlight the areas for improvement. This process will allow them to prioritise areas for change which will further minimise the risk of introducing a pest or disease.
A biosecurity plan captures the biosecurity hazards on a property, allocates a risk rating to that hazard and highlights current practices undertaken to minimise these risks. It is important for producers to be able to demonstrate what they are doing on-farm to minimise their disease and pest risk to ensure business continuity in the event of an outbreak and for quality assurance programs like Livestock Production Assurance (LPA).
An action plan supports the biosecurity plan by highlighting the practices to introduce to a business, and prioritising implementation of these practices to enhance on-farm biosecurity.
These three documents provide producers with a better understanding of the pest and disease risks their business faces, helps producers document what is already being done to minimise these risks and helps to prioritise what practices need to be implemented to improve their on-farm biosecurity.
While risks may be similar across different properties and enterprises, management strategies vary greatly depending on unique circumstances. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to biosecurity planning.