Create a Biosecurity Management Plan
A biosecurity management plan is a practical way of preventing the introduction and spread of pests, disease, weeds and contaminants to or from a property.
A biosecurity management plan should:
- Define responsibilities
- Outline emergency disease protocols
- Support government during an emergency animal disease response by ensuring all property biosecurity information is accessible
- Act as a form of communication between livestock owners, essential service providers and others who are legally allowed to access the property to ensure biosecurity procedures are being met.
There are a number of biosecurity planning tools and templates available to producers.
Producers should consider the following when selecting a biosecurity plan template:
- Is the template fit for purpose? – For producers who are new to biosecurity, there are basic templates available which can be used to capture what on-farm practices are already completed. There are also more comprehensive templates for producers who want to conduct an in-depth review of biosecurity management and highlight ways in which they can improve.
- Does the plan fit with the management practices on the farm? – There are both paper-based and digital tools available to producers to develop a biosecurity plan. Some digital tools require a paid subscription to a particular software (e.g. AgriWebb) while South Australian producers have access to PIRSA’s One Biosecurity (1B) platform.
- Is there an action plan component? – Developing an action plan alongside a biosecurity management plan provides producers with a roadmap on how to continuously improve their on-farm biosecurity management.
Property maps and zoning
A property map is an important part of any biosecurity management plan as it provides a visual representation of where a property can be entered into, as well as where roads and infrastructure are located. Maps can be captured and printed by using digital map tools such as Google Maps.
Producers can do this by marking significant points on a copy of their farm map. Significant points include:
- Entry points to the property
- House, office and parking areas
- Roads and tracks
- Sheds, silos and machinery parking areas
- Other significant structures such as shearing sheds
- Production areas e.g. where crops are grown or livestock is grazed
- Any current or past hazardous areas e.g. rubbish dumps
- Significant weed infestations
- Water ways, troughs and dams
- Designated clean down areas
- Power lines, poles and meters
- Livestock yards
- Livestock quarantine areas
- Fodder feeding points
Once significant points are documented on the farm map, zoning should be considered. Zoning is the division of the property into separate areas to manage movement between and within these zones. A three-zone system (cool, warm and hot) helps to manage movement, create separation between different areas of farming activities and highlight areas where access needs to be monitored and managed (Table 1).
Review your plan
A biosecurity management plan and action plan should be reviewed at least annually to ensure the content is up to date and relevant.
The content above has been kindly provided by Animal Health Australia.