Livestock Act passes protecting SA from animal disease incursion
Clare Scriven MLC
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development
South Australia’s ability to respond to an emergency animal disease incursion has been boosted with the passage of the Livestock (Emergency Animal Disease) Amendment Bill 2022 passed by State Parliament.
The amendments strengthen the powers within the Livestock Act 1997, adding to the suite of actions being undertaken by the State Government to ensure a comprehensive, rapid and effective emergency response, should an outbreak occur.
With the heightened risk of emergency animal diseases (EAD) in recent months including African Swine Fever (ASF), Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), the State Government is doing all it can to ensure South Australia is well placed to respond if required.
The amendments ensure that in the event of an EAD outbreak, inspectors will be able to construct (or require the construction of) a fence to contain livestock, disinfect machinery, take possession of available machinery to assist with livestock disposal activities, or stop work or close a place to minimise a biosecurity risk or impact.
Where an increased risk of exotic disease has been declared, powers to undertake surveillance and proof of freedom testing have been added for monitoring disease incursions or for market access purposes.
The enhanced powers will ensure South Australia can undertake testing to quickly implement any required emergency response measures to limit the rapid spread of disease and to maintain or regain market access which will be crucial in managing the economic impact to the State.
Quotes attributable to Clare Scriven
The passage of this legislation is a vital and important development in the continued work being done to keep South Australia free from emergency animal diseases.
Impacts of an EAD incursion would be felt well beyond the farm with the loss of international market access with estimates indicating a cost to Australia of $80 to $100 billion over 10 years.
It’s important to ensure these relevant legislative arrangements are strong, so our response to EAD is swift and agile.
Quotes attributable to Travis Tobin Chief Executive Officer of Livestock SA
Livestock SA thanks the Government and the Parliament for the timely passage of the Bill, which was needed to strengthen the State’s ability to respond to an EAD detection or outbreak.
If faced with such an event, our industry would be operating in unchartered territory and these changes will enable more effective control and eradication processes so we can get back to normal trading conditions as soon as possible.
Key to the success of any EAD response will be the effective working relationship between government and industry.