July 19, 2022

 

Biosecurity efforts in Western Australia continue to ramp up

 


The government of Western Australia is continuing to ramp up biosecurity outbreak preparedness planning in light of the increased risks presented by foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.

 

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has made direct contact with all registered livestock owners to provide advice on preparedness, and will present at a joint forum with WAFarmers in Mount Barker on July 19.

 

Western Australia has established an Industry and Government Preparedness Task Group to boost its emergency animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capacity. In the event of a disease outbreak, the state's biosecurity team has a clear plan for response, including a livestock lockdown, contact tracing and herd disposal.

 

Western Australia has tested the plan as part of both national and state-based scenario exercises, with further scenario-based exercises to be undertaken in the coming months.

 

The state government's $15 million investment in the 2021-22 State Budget has delivered 22 new full-time equivalent biosecurity positions to enhance early warning and detection, boost emergency preparedness and build response capacity. It is also working closely with the Commonwealth to ensure appropriate measures are in place to protect local producers, and that travelers are aware of border security arrangements and the penalties that apply.

 

"Both foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease pose major threats to our livestock industries, and our government is doing everything we can to prepare," said Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan. "Strong on-farm and supply chain biosecurity practices are absolutely essential in detecting and containing any outbreaks in WA.

 

"We're directly providing all livestock owners with up-to-date information on steps they can take to protect their animals. Meanwhile, we are ramping up the state's response planning to ensure we are ready to stand-up a full state-wide response if either virus is detected.

 

"We also want to work with the Commonwealth to ramp up traveller awareness on the prohibition of bringing meat or dairy products into Australia, and the significant penalties that apply."

 

- Government of Western Australia

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