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Key changes in transitional dates of on-farm biosecurity planning

The Cattle Council of Australia is alerting producers to key changes in the transitional dates of on-farm biosecurity planning.

  • New biosecurity laws have shifted many of the costs and responsibilities for managing pests and diseases on to producers.
  • As part of this transition, producers are now responsible for implementing on-farm biosecurity plans.
  • A biosecurity plan will be required for producers to gain or renew their Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accreditation from 1st October 2017.
  • In parallel, a new national biosecurity management approach to Johne's Disease (JD) in cattle has been developed by Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the Cattle Council of Australia.
  • The new approach to JD management in beef cattle has seen most states remove regulations.
  • To assist cattle producers take responsibility for managing their on-farm risks, an important tool, called the Johne's Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS), has been developed.
  • An on-farm biosecurity plan is also required for J-BAS.
  • The same on-farm planning template will be used for LPA and J-BAS, with producers who have a focus on JD being required to complete the optional questions on JD. 
  • The J-BAS system works on a set of scores measured off a producer’s previous exposure to JD and their preparedness in managing their risk.  An outline of the score system can be found here.
  • The Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) have legislated minimum J-BAS entry requirements that include a biosecurity plan and, in the case of WA, herd testing.
  • To maintain J-BAS 7, producers must have a biosecurity plan overseen and signed by a vet by 1st July 2017 and have undertaken a 'check test' (50 samples) with clear results by 1st July 2018, or they automatically move to a J-BAS 6.
  • The default position for any producer will be J-BAS 6 unless they have prior JD infection in the last 5 years, in which case they should then self-assess as per the J-BAS criteria.
  • Cattle travelling to Western Australia will need to be J-BAS 7 or 8, and meet other entry requirements as set out in the health certificate for movement of stock to Western Australia (LB1 form).
  • Cattle travelling to the NT from 1 July 2017 will need to be J-BAS 6 and accompanied by a Cattle Health Declaration from the property of origin. There is no need for vet endorsement or testing.  National Cattle Health Declaration form can be found here.
  • It is recommended that for any cattle transaction within the production system, a National Cattle Health Declaration should be supplied by the vendor and requested by the buyer (cattle being sent direct to slaughter may not require this).

Further information

Livestock Production Assurance program

LPA information can be found at: www.mla.com.au/meat-safety-and-traceability/red-meat-integrity-system/about-the-livestock-production-assurance-program/seven-lpa-requirements/biosecurity/

Johne’s Beef Assurance Score

J-BAS information can be found at: www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/jd-cattle-tools/

On-farm biosecurity templates

The following link provides a biosecurity plan template that can be used to develop an on-farm biosecurity plan that will meet the requirements of LPA (therefore automatically, J-BAS provided the JD section is completed):): www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Grazing-Manual-Biosecurity-Form.pdf

About Cattle Council of Australia (CCA)

CCA is the prescribed Peak Industry Council for the Australian Cattle Industry.  It represents all Australian cattle producers to formulate policy and advocate for the betterment of the industry.

About Animal Health Australia (AHA)

AHA works in partnership with the Cattle Council of Australia and its members to keep Australia free of new and emerging diseases and to improve animal health, enhance market access and foster resilience and integrity of the Australian animal health system.

About Livestock Production Assurance (LPA)

The LPA program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity.  It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain.

Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS)

J-BAS is a risk profiling tool developed for use in the new approach to Johne’s Disease (JD) in beef cattle (otherwise known as BJD).  It is meant to be used as a guide and producers should ask further questions about JD in the herd and on the property, rather than rely on the score alone.

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