The leaders of a review into the Queensland Government’s management of an ongoing Bovine Johne’s Disease incursion are calling for input from affected parties to guide the review process.
The review, announced by Queensland minister for agriculture John McVeigh in late February, is looking into the conduct and decision making process of the State’s current BJD response.
It will provide an independent assessment of the future direction of the BJD program based on results received, current knowledge and peer-reviewed science.
Mr McVeigh selected veterinary professor Jonathan Hill and grazier and former AgForce chairman Brent Finlay to conduct the review.
The review commenced in early March and is restricted to a tight time-frame, with the final report due for submission on April 30.
The reviewers have sent a letter to stakeholders this week urging those with information on the current BJD response to provide feedback as soon as possible.
“Due to the scale of this BJD outbreak (the largest in Australia) and the tight time frames previously mentioned, we seek early contact with you/your organisation as an identified stakeholder,” the letter reads.
“Your response to this letter will be treated in confidence and your identity in relation to your comments, will be confidential unless you stipulate otherwise.”
Mr Finlay and Dr Hill said they are seeking any information that will help them to conduct “a detailed, whole of response review that captures all viewpoints”.
They have developed a series of questions to guide responses, which include:
The review will also involve face-to-face meetings and tele/video conferences with respective stakeholders to delve further into the issues, while the reviewers will also visit affected properties, the labs undertaking the testing, government departments and NGO’s.
The questions include:
- What do you feel has worked well in the current BJD program (feel free to relate the current program to other disease control programs or market assurance programs in livestock (eg Brucellosis in cattle or sheep, footrot in sheep, cattle ticks, Equine Influenza)?
- What has not worked well?
- In your opinion what should be done to change or improve the current BJD program?
- What impact or potential impact of BJD has or could BJD have on your business?
- What interactions have you had with QLD DAFF staff regarding BJD? Did those interactions help you? Did they clarify the disease and help you make decisions for your property and business?
- In general how well do you think the response to the disease has been handled by QLD DAAF?
The reviewers are also inviting general comments from stakeholders.
Contact details for the reviewers are as follows: Brent Finlay (Advisor to the Minister and Industry representative) – mobile 0414415361; email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Professor Jonathan Hill (Advisor to the Minister and animal health expert not involved in the current BJD program) – Mobile: 0428 262499; email: email@example.com