JOHNE’S DIS­EASE UP­DATE

Dead­line ex­tended for dis­ease plan

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Sarah Diony­sius sarah.diony­sius@west­ern­starnews.com

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.

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. — Bim Struss, AgForce

PHOTO: FILE

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

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