Beef producers are being asked how they recognise and manage emergency animal disease, as part of a new James Cook University research project.
JCU researcher Dr Connar McShane is conducting Farm Biosecurity Practices and the Management of Emergency Animal Disease, as part of a joint project between JCU and Charles Sturt University.
The research is targeting beef producers in the northern and southern beef zones, and specifically producers in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region.
Dr McShane said emergency animal diseases were diseases that threatened the biosecurity of the Australian livestock industry.
“Such diseases include foot and mouth disease, which if it was introduced to Australia would impact our ‘low risk’ disease trade status and thus have a significant impact on Australian beef exports,” she said.
“This research will help us understand how and where producers obtain their information for management of emergency animal disease and whether they use these knowledge sources.
“Outcomes will have implications for policy development and enhance our ability to protect Australia’s beef industry from diseases.”
Producers in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region were sent surveys at the end of January via post and will receive a reminder letter in the second week of February.
The survey asks producers to volunteer to participate in interviews as well.
The interviews will be face-to-face and Dr McShane will meet the producer at a place convenient for them, for example, on a farm.
“We are looking for 40-60 producers to participate in the interviews. Interview participants go into the draw to win 1 of 10 Coles-Myer gift vouchers worth $50.”
The project is funded by the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and results will be presented in a report to DAFF.
Source: James Cook University