Last week was National Farm Safety Week, and the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) used the occasion to remind vets how they can better work with farmers to prevent, detect and manage animal diseases on their properties.
In light of this year’s theme of ‘creating a resilient, safe and healthy Ag community’, AVA president Dr Paula Parker noted there are a range of diseases that pose a risk to the health of animals such as salmonellosis and Johne’s disease. There are also zoonotic diseases that can pass from animals to humans and threaten human health, including Hendra virus, Q fever and leptospirosis.
“Resilience, health and safety in the agricultural community involves human health, animal health and sustainable and robust agricultural businesses,” Dr Parker said.
“Veterinarians work with farmers every day to identify biosecurity, animal and human health risks and advise on systems to prevent, monitor, and manage diseases in their livestock.
“A disease outbreak in a heard or flock comes at enormous short- and long-term costs to agricultural businesses. Prevention and risk management is essential to protecting livestock against disease.”
Australian Cattle Veterinarians, a special interest group of the AVA, has developed BIOCHECK, a new biosecurity plan that helps farmers to identify major risks to their farm and develop plans to manage them.
“As every farm is unique, it’s important for farmers to work closely with their veterinarian to ensure they have considered the risks specific to their farm. This allows them to then take a proactive approach to minimising these risks,” Dr Parker said.
She added that a focus on biosecurity as well as the prevention and control of animal diseases on farms also plays a key role in our fight against antimicrobial resistance.
“By improving disease prevention, we can significantly reduce the need for antibiotic use in sick animals.
“Australia is a global leader with respect to low-level of use of antibiotics in animals and while this a great achievement, we cannot afford to become complacent in our fight against antibiotic resistance.”
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA.