A NEW $770,000 training program aiming to boost biosecurity capabilities in Indonesia and Timor-Leste is aiming to give the Australian livestock industry more protection from exotic disease like foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the program was part of a broader agenda to invest in regional biosecurity, which includes closer collaboration and cooperation with its nearest neighbours.
“Australia is free from FMD and LSD and we are determined to keep it that way,” he said.
“Helping our friends and neighbours detect and manage their risk to these exotic diseases, helps us protect our vital agricultural sector.
“Australia has a long history of biosecurity collaboration with Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and we have ramped up our work together since May 2022 following the detection of FMD in Indonesia.
“This program will provide vital support to Indonesia’s efforts to control the FMD and LSD outbreaks there while assisting Timor-Leste’s to prevent and prepare for an incursion.”
The funding will create and deliver country-specific ‘train the trainer’ programs for Indonesia and Timor-Leste and is part of a $14 million package announced by the Government last year.
The program will be run by the Charles Sturt University through Australia’s Biosecurity Training Centre (BTC) from April 2023.
Charles Sturt University and the department have been working closely with animal and plant quarantine colleagues in Timor-Leste and Indonesia to determine gaps in their capacity to detect and mitigate the risk of exotic disease entering through regulated pathways.
Indonesian participants will be receiving training in international best practice approaches to biosecurity.
This will also include developing an understanding of the practical implementation of these approaches.
Areas covered will include import risk analysis, border clearance processes, on shore management, disinfection treatments, and specific risk management associated with high priority transboundary plant pests and animal diseases including FMD and LSD among others.
The existing skills of the Timorese delegates will be expanded with a focus on key animal and plant pests and diseases that are important in the Timor-Leste setting.
The key focus will be mitigating the risk of FMD, which is currently not present in Timor-Leste, through border inspection techniques.
Both Indonesian and Timorese officers will learn ‘train the trainer’ techniques to enable them to mentor their colleagues.
Source: Murray Watt
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