Ensure your biosecurity plan is up-to-date

Ensure your biosecurity plan is up-to-date

July 08 2022
  • Australia is currently free from some of the world’s worst animal diseases
  • An infectious disease outbreak would have significant trade and environmental impacts, meaning Australia may no longer be recognised for our clean, green and high-quality red meat status
  • Completing a Farm Biosecurity plan is the first step to protecting your business, your livelihood and that of the wider industry.

Animal diseases are a major threat to Australia's red meat livestock industries. Even with Australia as an island nation, our international relations – through trade, tourism and work visas – mean we are susceptible to many biosecurity threats. These most notably include diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) which have been recently identified in Indonesia. The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program requires LPA accredited producers to protect their livestock and properties with a documented biosecurity plan, to help uphold the safety and quality of our Australian red meat.

Common biosecurity risks

Effective biosecurity procedures address the identification and containment of disease outbreaks when they occur and detail the measures in place to prevent disease spread.

Watch out for these common on-farm biosecurity risks:

  • visitors or workers who have travelled from an infected country carrying disease or contaminated clothing (e.g. work boots)
  • vehicles and machinery that is rusted, contaminated, or is carrying foreign soils or plant matter
  • introduced livestock that may be diseased/contaminated
  • contaminated feed
  • invasive plant species that may affect current biodiversity
  • invasive animal species - such as pigs and foxes
  • parasites - worms, flukes, ticks
  • waste materials through water and soil

Ensuring your livestock are, and remain, free of serious infectious diseases protects your animals and business - allowing you to maximise farm productivity and minimise stock losses, animal discomfort and medical treatment costs.

Protect your business from animal disease

To protect your property and livestock from risk, LPA accredited producers must implement on-farm biosecurity systems including:

  • complete a documented Farm Biosecurity Plan for each Property Identification Code (PIC)
  • ensure all livestock movements onto the PIC have a known health status e.g. through a Livestock Health Statement/Declaration or equivalent
  • inspect all introduced livestock for signs of ill health or disease on arrival and keep them in isolation for a period of time
  • regularly inspect livestock for ill health and disease and take appropriate action where necessary
  • ensure livestock do not stray onto or from the property
  • keep records of livestock movements, as well as vehicle and visitor movements where reasonable and practical
  • have local veterinarian or animal health officer contact details available and report any unusual disease, illness, or mortalities as soon as possible
  • stay up to date with animal health warnings and bulletins issued by your state or territory department of agriculture/primary industries and know the signs and symptoms of infectious diseases
  • implement other procedures or practices that help minimise the risk or spread of disease.

Completing a Farm Biosecurity Plan

Each LPA accredited producer must have a documented Farm Biosecurity Plan that covers each of the following:

  1. Manage and record the introduction and movement of livestock in a way that minimises the risk of introducing and/or spreading infectious diseases.
  2. Where reasonable and practical, control people, equipment and vehicles entering the property – minimising the potential for property contamination and, if possible, keep a record of such movements.
  3. Prevent and control animal diseases on-farm by regularly monitoring and managing livestock.

Every LPA-accredited producer must ensure biosecurity requirements are fulfilled on-farm to minimise risk and protect our wider industry.

The LPA website allows a farm biosecurity plan to be completed entirely online. Producers can access ISC’s detailed step-by-step guide to create and upload documents to your LPA account to learn how to complete your digital farm biosecurity plan.

Australia’s red meat industry cannot risk the entrance of infectious diseases or invasive pests and weeds. All members of the value chain, on and off property, have a responsibility to ensure diseases and other biosecurity risks are not spread to our livestock, so our products are safe for consumption, and we can stand by what we sell.

An example of the on-farm biosecurity plan template