Australia, we are in good hands

Mar 24, 2017

This week, ADF President, Terry Richardson, took part in his first Animal Health Australia (AHA) industry forum in Canberra.

The meeting was called to discuss a range of topics including the management of the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA), a unique contractual arrangement between Australia’s governments and industry groups to collectively reduce the risk of disease incursions and manage a response if an outbreak occurs.

Based on his first impression, Mr Richardson said the familiarisation and training offered to industry in the event of an outbreak is second to none.

“It is reassuring that as a collective we can come together with a shared goal of enhancing on farm bio-security practices and regulations.

“The degree of expertise and good management of our animal health and welfare issues means we are able to respond to any situation and manage any diseases to minimise their impact on farmers.

“This high level of preparedness is vital to show just how fast we, as an entire commodities industry, are able to respond to any outbreak should an issue arise”, said Mr Richardson.

Mr Richardson also took part in training for the National Management Group who have overall management responsibility in the event of an exotic disease incursion in Australia.

“The spread of the white spot virus in the SE Queensland prawn industry really highlights the threat posed to all agriculture from failing to maintain Australia’s strict biosecurity defence capabilities.

“It is important that we have adequate resources at the national and state levels, or we risk great (and increasingly) severe consequences.

“A large outbreak such as Foot and Mouth Disease would have significant repercussions and cost our economy up to $16 billion”, Mr Richardson said.

ADF has strong group of staff and farmers who are well prepared to respond to the threat of disease to safeguard the dairy industry and Australia’s reputation as a producer of safe, clean food.

In addition, resourcing of biosecurity remains a high priority for ADF and all industry bodies including AHA Industry Forum are encouraged to continue to pressure all governments in recognising this as a priority in the national interest.

John McQueen

Interim ADF Chief Executive Officer

 

AHA Review of Bovine Johne's Disease

May 24, 2016

Throughout 2015 and early 2016 Animal Health Australia (AHA) has been conducting a review of Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) management in Australia. The review has progressed with consultative forums, meetings of a review panel, discussion papers and a draft framework document.

Information on the AHA Review of BJD can be found via http://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/news/latest-information-about-the-national-bjd-strategic-plan-review/

Dairy farmers were represented on the Review Panel by ADF and Dairy Australia and State Dairy Farmer Organisations have had input through the consultations. Farmer representatives have been present at both the forums and at the consultation meetings held.

AHA released the final framework document in February 2016 - BJD – Where to from here? A Fresh Approach to the Management of Johne’s Disease in Cattle: Management Plan for Cattle Production Conditions.

Major changes in the management of BJD outlined in the final framework document include:

The removal of zoning;

  • Reliance on producers to protect themselves from disease (a biosecurity approach);
  • A market driven approach where producers undertake practices dependant on market requirements;
  • An evaluation of the CattleMAP; and
  • Development of tools and education material.

The dairy industry has provided collective input and feedback throughout the process. The final framework document is a very high-level document and dairy industry representatives have indicated that further work is necessary to provide detail on how any revised scheme would be implemented.

A Communications Plan and an Implementation Plan for the new BJD approach are being worked on and industry representatives are involved in this work. As a result of the above, in consultation with State Dairy Farming Organisations, recommended revisions to the Dairy Score developed by ADF and DA have been endorsed.

The National Dairy Industry BJD Assurance Score will continue to be an important tool for dairy farmers but some refinements may be needed to facilitate an alternative to Cattle MAP for dairy farmers.

The draft revised Dairy Score is based on the current criteria that supports risk-based trading and provides an extension tool to help farmers understand how they can achieve higher levels of assurance. The draft revised Dairy Score focuses on biosecurity measures, particularly hygienic calf rearing, with incorporation of herd tests at the higher levels to monitor and verify the integrity of the Score.

Work is also happening on making the Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Plan (JDCAP) available across Australia. The JDCAP is currently only implemented in Victoria and recently New South Wales.

The JDCAP is a voluntary comprehensive audited program that has been implemented on some dairy farms in Victoria and has been a compulsory part of participation in the Victorian Test and Control Program since 2003.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the ADF Office via (03) 8621 4200.

 

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