Industry News

Farm Biosecurity


August 2021



From virtual to reality: using data and technology to promote animal health

A visualisation tool has been developed to complement PIRSA’s Enhanced Abattoir Surveillance project and Animal Health Australia’s National Sheep Health Monitoring Project – both projects aimed at collecting and reporting on the incidence of sheep health conditions and the production losses they cause for producers and processors.

Six conditions are showcased – pleurisy/pneumonia, sheep measles, grass seeds, arthritis, rib fractures and vaccination lesions. Within the tool, there are also fact sheets which include further information including how producers can prevent or manage each condition on their property.

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Ongoing eradication of exotic fruit fly from Torres Strait

Exotic fruit flies are ranked #4 in the list of National Priority Plant Pests. The good news is that efforts to stop exotic fruit flies from entering the Australian mainland through the Torres Strait will continue with a five-year response plan.

A quick look at a map shows how the proximity of Torres Strait to Papua New Guinea poses a unique and serious biosecurity risk to Australia. Pests, like exotic fruit fly, that are native to Papua New Guinea can move into the Torres Strait by natural means, such as wind currents, and also through human assisted pathways such as vessel movements and unauthorised foreign fishing activity.

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Keeping free of Newcastle disease

The importance of vaccinations cannot be overstated generally when it comes to animal health, and this is particularly the case for Newcastle disease (ND) in poultry.

All commercial poultry flocks require vaccination in Australia, except broilers in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania. Details of the vaccination program and requirements can be found in the National ND Management Plan, which outlines the vaccination and surveillance programs that mitigate the risk of an ND outbreak in Australia.

Australia has also seen outbreaks in the past and the virulent form is particularly devastating, so the management plan aims to prevent an emergency disease outbreak occurring.

So, what is Newcastle disease?

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There's still time to apply for a Nuffield Scholarship

Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships are a unique way for primary producers to participate in a life-changing experience, travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice.

The Farm Biosecurity Program, run by Plant Health Australia and Animal Health Australia, is supporting a scholarship for a primary producer to study a topic relevant to on-farm biosecurity.

Each scholarship is valued at $30,000. Applications close on 6 August 2021, so there's still time to apply.

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Biosecurity manuals and record templates for crop and livestock producers

The Farm Biosecurity website makes it easy for producers seeking advice on the biosecurity measures to implement on their property. With free resources for 24 industries, there’s likely to be tailored information to suit most producers.

Plant Health Australia’s General Manager, Partnerships, Mr Rod Turner, said manuals contain all the measures that can be used to reduce the risks of diseases entering or spreading on your farm.

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Recent addition to list of manuals

A recent addition to the Farm Biosecurity suite of manuals is the National Biosecurity Manual for Feed Mills, produced by the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia. The biosecurity checklist that’s part of the manual is also available as a separate resource.

Feed manufacturing and delivery is a fundamental part of the production chain and having good biosecurity practices in this area will help to reduce the risk of disease spread.

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General information on carcass collection and appropriate disposal

Biosecurity Tasmania

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment in Tasmania has issued a Biosecurity Advisory 20/2021

​Livestock, and other animal carcasses, left above ground may pose health, biosecurity and environmental risks, and Biosecurity Tasmania recommends that burial be undertaken as soon as practicable, and at the most appropriate site available.

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QR codes not mandatory for NSW farms but tracing encouraged to protect ag worker movements

ABC News

The NSW Farmers Association said there had been some confusion around the rules for primary producers.

Businesses within the agriculture sector such as rural supplies stores, abattoirs and saleyards will need the codes while properties themselves will not.

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Workshops for vegetable growers


There's a range of events coming up in August on pests and disease management for Australian vegetable growers, including at SA Produce Markets, and Lindenow and Korumburra in Gippsland.

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American serpentine leafminer confirmed in Western Australia

WA Department of Primary Industries and Regions

The invasive exotic pest American serpentine leafminer (Liriomyza trifolii) has been found near Kununurra in WA. DPIRD confirmed the pest’s presence in a sample collected near Kununurra, as part of the surveillance done by the Australian Government's Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy.

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Invasive insect fall armyworm on the march

ABC Rural

A virus that oozes out through a caterpillar's skin before exterminating it is being investigated as a way to combat an invasive insect that is devastating some Australian crops. Since fall armyworm was first found in the Torres Strait in January 2020, it has spread to every state and territory except South Australia.

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Queensland roll out Farm Check-In app

Queensland Country Life

In the last eighteen months, QR codes have emerged as critical tech protection against the pandemic.

Now, the Queensland Government is looking to the same line of defence to protect Queensland agriculture from the biosecurity risks that threaten the $13b industry.

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New measures for beetle treatment

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Sea containers packed in a khapra beetle target risk country and unpacked in a rural grain-growing area will be required to undergo treatment offshore. Head of Biosecurity at the department, Andrew Tongue, said the measures were an important step in keeping Australia free from khapra beetle.

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New program launched, business coaching available

NSW Department of Primary Industries

The Farm Business Resillience Program has been launched in NSW and the program is now seeking applications from farmers who are interested in business coaching. Farming businesses of any size and scale, owners of any age, and from any industry are welcome to apply for this opportunity.

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