3 ways to be biosecurity ready

Three ways to be biosecurity ready

02 August 2022
-Min Read

Quick facts

  • Make sure your biosecurity plan is up-to-date
  • Complete a PIC reconciliation to ensure your records are complete and correct
  • Monitor and report FMD/LSD symptoms.

Australia is currently free from FMD, and our priority is to keep it that way. There is a clear and robust national response plan in place called the AUSVETPLAN as well as strong biosecurity measures. At the same time producers have their own responsibilities for their properties, and can complete some key tasks to mitigate against biosecurity threats and protect their livestock.

1. Complete your biosecurity plan

Each Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accredited producer must have a documented Farm Biosecurity Plan. Having an up-to-date version is the best preparation you can have to protect your livestock from major disease spread and substantial impacts to your business. The plan helps you to:

  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.

The LPA website allows a farm biosecurity plan to be completed entirely online. Producers can access ISC’s detailed step-by-step guide to assist.

The plan covers the following to help you prepare:

  • Are all stock that arrive on the property (including livestock travelling back to the property from shows, agistment or contract joining) checked for their health status?
  • Are there strategies in place to minimise the risk of disease incursion onto the property by visitors or machinery?
  • Do you seek advice from a veterinarian or government officer in relation to any unusual sickness or death event?
  • Do you review your farm biosecurity plan annually?

2. Complete a PIC reconciliation

A PIC Reconciliation is a stocktake of all electronic NLIS devices on a property. This process identifies discrepancies between the total number of electronic devices physically on a property (attached to livestock and in storage) and the number of electronic devices registered to that property (PIC) on the NLIS Database.

Completing a PIC reconciliation regularly helps ensure that all transfers have been completed correctly and that there is no or minimal discrepancy in your active devices. 

Keeping accurate livestock movement records, including completing NLIS transfers, is a requirement of your LPA accreditation and forms part of your LPA audit. PIC reconciliations should be conducted every 12 months to ensure your records are complete and correct.

In the case of an animal disease outbreak, chemical contamination or residue issue – including a report of FMD or LSD – accurate NLIS records are imperative to allow authorities to respond quickly.  Poor records could result in your property (PIC) being impacted by quarantine measures in tracing situations.

For a step-by-step guide to conducting a PIC reconciliation, visit our web pages: NLIS how-to guides and How PIC reconciliations can protect your integrity.

3. Report detected diseases

All livestock producers must be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout for any suspected contamination or disease, particularly those that will cause widespread infection, such as FMD and LSD.

Good biosecurity practices and early detection is essential to reduce the potential impact of these diseases, should either arrive in Australia. Producers are urged to exercise vigilance on-farm by:

Ensure you are reporting any possible contamination. A widespread outbreak could lead to unprecedented impacts to our livestock, producers and industry.

Biosecurity preparedness

Find out how to protect your livestock and livelihood from biosecurity risks and learn practical hints and tips.