Many landowners will remember the last time the Queensland Government moved the tick line and created the three zone system: tick free, control and tick infested zones.
At that time the government worked with communities to develop tick eradication programs and regional groups were formed to motivate and manage the process. Producers in the control zone, committed significant resources to eradicate ticks and maintain the integrity of the line. The programs were very successful in many cases, but not in all areas as the policy did not have the regulatory strength necessary to compel eradication.
The new line, which was approved from 1 July 2016, divides Queensland into two zones: tick free and tick infested. The control zone has disappeared with some properties previously in the control zone now moving to tick free zone and others into the tick infested zone.
The location of the tick line and the new map can be viewed in detail on the government biosecurity website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au
The Queensland Government said the new tick line has been aligned with roads and stronger double fenced boundaries. Producers straddling the line should notify the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) if there are any mapping errors, for example, if the line runs through a paddock rather than along the road.
The obligation on producers remains the same, it is an offence to move cattle from tick infested to tick free zones without a certificate from an accredited certifier verifying that the cattle have been inspected and treated.
Accredited certifiers can inspect and treat livestock, and issue biosecurity certificates to allow livestock to be moved from the tick-infested zone to the tick-free zone at any location, on property or at the dip.
The new system expands on the previous third-party provider system with improved auditing, oversight and flexibility. Accredited certifiers are trained by DAF and must maintain accurate records of dip facilities and dip chemical concentration for auditing.
Anyone can apply to become an accredited certifier, but you must complete appropriate training and have the necessary expertise and experience to be appointed. Further information about training and accreditation opportunities can be obtained from DAF.
It may suit your business to become an accredited certifier, to inspect, treat and certify your own cattle. It is important to note that accredited certifiers are trained, annually audited and registered whether they are treating their own herd or a client they are legally responsible for.