Bovine Johne’s Dis­ease causes laws to change

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE RURAL -

BIOSE­CU­RITY was firmly in fo­cus at the Women In Agri­cul­ture con­fer­ence in Eid­solvd last week.

In par­tic­u­lar the biose­cu­rity laws that came into ef­fect in July 1, 2016 were dis­cussed, with­the act en­sur­ing a more con­sis­tent, modern, risk-based and less pre­scrip­tive ap­proach to biose­cu­rity in Queens­land.

AgForce rep­re­sen­ta­tive for SEQ Caro­line Har­ris said these laws were vi­tal to well-be­ing and were im­por­tant to the re­gion.

“It’s im­por­tant for your health and those who have an­i­mals on their prop­erty, es­pe­cially vi­tal that they un­der­stand what the laws are,” Mrs Har­ris said.

“It also in­volves pests and weeds and also diseases within the re­gion.

“The Equine In­fluenza es­caped which was a breach of se­cu­rity rules and got out into the pop­u­la­tion and it af­fected things like shows, car­ni­vals and horse rid­ing.”

A breach of biose­cu­rity can re­sult in a fine of more than $1 mil­lion.

“Rules in Queens­land have now changed as of July 1, 2016 and that means the re­spon­si­bil­ity is now on the land­holder to keep their prop­erty clean from out­side in­fec­tion, from weeds or diseases,” Mrs Har­ris said.

“It’s also to con­tain any pests, weeds or in­fec­tion on their own prop­erty.”

Mrs Har­ris be­lieves it’s more preva­lent in re­gional Queens­land and that ev­ery land­holder should take the laws se­ri­ously.

“The Equine In­fluenza was a mas­sive prob­lem a few years ago, and re­cently it was the Bovine Johne’s Dis­ease which is a type of wast­ing dis­ease, and that was preva­lent in the south­ern states,” Mrs Har­ris said.

“We then had an out­break of it two years ago and they’re re­alised now they can’t re­ally erad­i­cate it and are now in a man­ag­ing sys­tem, with a new Act to com­mence as of July 1st.”

The new act will af­fect all land­hold­ers and will take place in less than a few weeks.

“If you’ve got a biose­cu­rity prop­erty plan in place by June 30 you can go to the high­est level, if you don’t you’ll au­to­mat­i­cally go to the bot­tom level and it’s a process that you have to go through,” Mrs Har­ris said.

The process takes six years for land­hold­ers to go back to nor­mal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

PHOTO: PHILIPPE CO­QUERAND

LAW CHANGE: AgForce’s Caro­line Har­ris dis­cusses the im­por­tance of biose­cu­rity at the WAG's fo­rum in Eidsvold.

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