BIOSECURITY UPDATE: Ray White Rural Roma's AJ Riley said they can help producers with the new requirements.
BIOSECURITY UPDATE: Ray White Rural Roma's AJ Riley said they can help producers with the new requirements. Blake Antrobus

Flexibility for producers

QUEENSLAND cattle producers have an extra three months to undertake new requirements for managing bovine Johne's disease.

Animal Health Australia and the Cattle Council of Australia agreed to be flexible on the deadline for producers to prepare biosecurity plans, with the initial deadline set for July 1.

AgForce cattle president Bim Struss said 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.

"Changes to biosecurity laws have shifted a lot of the costs and responsibilities for managing pests and diseases on to producers,” he said.

"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 for cattle producers to manage on-farm risks themselves.”

A biosecurity plan will 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,” Mr Struss said.

"Many producers have been concerned they will not have a biosecurity plan in place by June 30, meaning their J-BAS could drop to zero and take years to build back up.”

Ray White Rural Roma livestock sales agent AJ Riley said if anyone had any queries about the new requirements they could always come and see either himself or any of the agents.

"There's a seven-page biosecurity template you will have to fill out and we can help you with that,” he said.

"It's not hard to do and you just have to fill in a few things so you have the records available if someone comes to your property to do an audit. It's not as scary as when it first came out and now that the deadline has been extended.”

AgForce is conducting an online survey on farm biosecurity knowledge, capability and practices, with the information gathered to be used to identify how best to assist producers to improve practices and maximise production.

To fill out the survey go to www.surveymonkey.com.


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