Livestock owners in Queensland are being urged to familiarise themselves with a range of new biosecurity law changes which come into effect in the State from tomorrow, July 1
The new laws include changes to biosecurity laws, cattle tick management rules and a new approach to managing Johne’s disease:
New cattle tick line and tick management framework
From 1 July 2016, part of Queensland will be designated as the tick free zone and the remainder as the tick infested zone.
The current control zone disappears tomorrow.
The location of the tick line also moves – the new tick line map can be viewed in detail at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au
The Queensland Government said the tick line has been aligned with stronger, double fenced boundaries in some areas.
General Manager for Animal Biosecurity and Welfare, Dr Allison Crook, said the new framework provides more flexibility for low-risk activities such as moving livestock to feedlots and abattoirs.
It also allows for accredited certifiers – people trained to inspect and certify livestock as free from ticks – to issue certificates at any location, not just a dip or clearing facility.
“This allows livestock to be certified at their place of origin and moved directly to their destination, saving the producer additional loading, travel and costs,” Dr Crook said.
All producers still have an obligation to report cattle tick and tick fever in the free zone.
Infested properties in the free zone need to ensure their livestock are tick free before they are moved and eradicate the ticks from their property.
“Our biosecurity officers will continue to provide surveillance for cattle ticks in the free zone to identify and monitor high risk areas, and to ensure that eradication programs on infested properties are effective.”
Property Identification Code (PIC) system continuing:
Anyone who keeps designated animals is considered a registrable biosecurity entity and must register their details with Biosecurity Queensland.
“This is similar to the previous property registration requirements – the terminology of who must register is a little different, but what is considered a designated animal remains unchanged,” Dr Crook said.
You must register if you keep:
- One or more cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, members of the camel family, members of the equine family;
- 100 or more designated birds– those that are raised for human consumption (poultry) or the production of eggs for human consumption (e.g. chickens), or that have been released into free flight since they started being kept in captivity (e.g. racing pigeons);
- One or more bee hives.
Dr Crook said in most cases the owner of the animals would need to register because they normally had ultimate care and control of the animals.
“If you keep livestock, when you register as a biosecurity entity a PIC will be issued.
“If you already held a PIC you were automatically registered as a biosecurity entity on 1 July 2016 and registration will remain effective for three years.”
Johne’s disease management
A new approach to the management of Johne’s disease also takes effect tomorrow.
As of July 1, 2016, the Queensland Government will no longer regulate livestock entry into Queensland or quarantine properties infected with Johne’s disease.
The change is in step with the national review of Johne’s disease management and aligns Queensland with the approach in other states and territories.
Dr Crook said most producers will not have to change the way they manage Johne’s disease and operate their business.
“Johne’s disease will remain a notifiable disease and producers must contact Biosecurity Queensland if they suspect Johne’s disease on their property,” said Dr Crook.
“As Johne’s disease is mostly spread through the movement of livestock, producers will need to ensure they are fully aware of the health status of the animals they purchase.
“High risk animals from southern states where Johne’s disease is more common should only be purchased with a comprehensive written health statement detailing the animal’s health.
Guidelines for safely purchasing livestock and making Johne’s disease risk-based decisions are available atwww.biosecurity.qld.gov.au.
A surveillance program will be run by Biosecurity Queensland to monitor compliance with the new framework and the steps producers are taking to meet their general biosecurity obligation relating to Johne’s disease.
Queensland agriculture minister Leanne Donaldson said the state is adopting the new national, market-driven, industry-managed and risk-based approach, which gives power to producers to make on-farm biosecurity decisions.
“It is a sensible, prudent change to help our producers and has broad industry support because it will provide greater flexibility for producers looking to expand their businesses.
“Queensland will continue to maintain a low prevalence of Johne’s disease through this new risk-based approach.”
Horse owners urged to understand new requirements
Horse owners are also being urged to understand how the new biosecurity laws will affect them.
Under the new approach to managing cattle ticks, owners of low risk livestock, such as horses, will have an obligation to only move tick free animals into the tick free zone.
All horse owners will still have an obligation to report the presence of cattle tick in the tick free zone.
Cattle tick infested properties in the tick free zone will need to ensure their livestock are tick free before they are moved and will need to eradicate ticks from their property.
As mentioned above, anyone who keeps a horse will be considered a registrable biosecurity entity and must register their details with Biosecurity Queensland from 1 July 2016.
The requirements for recording horse movements has also changed to ensure a stronger traceability system.
From 1 July, every time a horse moves from a property, a movement record must be created.
The movement record must include:
- where the horses/s are being moved from
- where the horses/s are being moved to and the name of the person receiving the horse/s
- a description of the horse/s including species, breed and any distinguishing feature sufficient to identify the horse/s
- the date of movement
- the person completing the record
- the actions taken to minimise the risk of cattle ticks if moving a horse from the tick infested zone to the free zone, or from infested places in the free zone.
“The person receiving the horse must also create a movement record,” Dr Crook said.
“If you are moving a horse across the tick line or from an infested place in the free zone, the record must be in your possession while travelling.
“A range of methods can be used to record the details of the movement record, including electronic format on a smart device or in writing. As long as it includes the required details, it will be a valid record.
“Organisers of horse events must also keep records of each horse that has attended their event.”
New laws make Biosecurity ‘a shared responsibility’
A major theme of the new laws is that of shared responsibility – that “everyone is responsible for managing their own biosecurity risks”, Dr Crook said.
The new laws on July 1 introduce the general biosecurity obligation, meaning livestock producers must take an active role in managing biosecurity risks under their control and must ensure their actions do not spread plant and animal pests, diseases or contaminants.
Livestock producers are not expected to know about all types of pests and diseases, however they are expected to know about those they could potentially come across as part of their daily activities.
“You need to ensure you can recognise and manage the various pest animal and plant species present in your area,” Dr Crook said.
“Under the Act, and as part of your general biosecurity obligation, you must take specific actions to limit the spread and impact of these pests, known as restricted matter, by reducing, controlling or containing them.
“You must not share, sell, trade or release restricted matter into the environment unless you are authorised to do so in a regulation or under a permit.”
There are also new reporting requirements and restrictions on the movement of some restricted matter contained in newly introduced biosecurity zones.
These zones can be specific to the type of restricted matter being managed, for example red imported fire ant biosecurity zones and horticultural biosecurity zones.
To find out more about your responsibilties under Queensland’s new Biosecurity Act 2014 from tomorrow, July 1, 2016, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.