A new approach to biosecurity on South Australian farms

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shutterstock_77825392South Australia will trial a new approach to managing disease and biosecurity on farms according to an ABC Rural report.

The state’s chief vet Dr Roger Paskin said the One Biosecurity program, being developed by a working group made up of a number of farmers and veterinarians, would score farmers based on the biosecurity practices on the farm, as well as on the disease status of farms.

“What we are trying to do is create a biosecurity program that will address all biosecurity risks, not just a single one, so when you are investing in it you get more bang for your buck,” Dr Paskin said.

He said the plan would address the whole range of diseases that can be found on farms, including worm species, viruses, Johne’s disease, lice and footrot.

“There’s a whole plethora of things that can assault a farm,” Dr Paskin said.

“We are putting together a program that will effectively deal with all of those in one blow.”

A pilot of the plan will be run in South Australia from July with a small group of farmers taking part for at least one year.

“Farmers (will) have to score what they do and they have to back up their scores with evidence, so that if we decide to do a random audit on their property, or do a random audit while they are in the process of selling livestock, what they say matches with what they do,” Dr Paskin said.

“It should be backed up by veterinary evidence. You need to have evidence that you are doing the things you claim to be doing.”

Dr Paskin said the new system should give livestock buyers confidence they are getting clean and healthy stock.

“It gives the buyer confidence, but it also empowers the seller. It gives him the power to do what he needs to do on his property and it incentivises that,” he said.

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