From 1 October 2017, sheep, goat and cattle producers will need to complete a Farm Biosecurity Plan (FBP) to maintain or obtain accreditation under the Livestock Production Assurance program (LPA).
The LPA program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity. It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain.
To assist cattle and sheep producers in developing and implementing a Farm Biosecurity Plan, a series of workshops will be rolled out across Australia over the next two months.
More than twenty workshops will be delivered by Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) and Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA).
These workshops are funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Animal Health Australia (AHA) and are designed to engage directly with producers to guide them through the development of a Farm Biosecurity Plan.
The requirement to develop a Farm Biosecurity Plan follows the introduction of a biosecurity element into the LPA program. To meet the requirements of the LPA program, as minimum, each Property Identification Code (PIC) must have a formal, documented Farm Biosecurity Plan.
Cattle Council of Australia President, Howard Smith said: “With the impending implementation of industry biosecurity changes, the impetus is on producers to manage biosecurity risks. To assist in this, it is vital producers are given opportunities to access the support needed to develop and implement their farm biosecurity plans in the timeframes required”.
SCA CEO, Dr Kat Giles said: “Best-practice biosecurity prevents the spread of infectious disease and invasive pests or weeds between farms, helping protect Australia’s favourable animal health status.
“Biosecurity procedures also provide significant advantages for access to international markets”.
“Producers attending the workshops will be provided with an in-depth understanding of what is required for farm biosecurity planning, to protect their business and Australia’s animal health status.
At the workshops cattle and sheep producers will be supported to complete the farm biosecurity plan, and will have the knowledge to carry out a farm biosecurity assessment and to finalise their plan when they return home.
Additional to the Farm Biosecurity Plan, cattle producers can choose to also have a Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS). This has been developed as a tool for managing Johne’s Disease (JD) to reduce the effect of the disease on production and avoid potential domestic and/or overseas live-trade implications from JD.
Cattle producers who have already developed a Farm Biosecurity Plan as part of their approach to JD management will not need to complete another plan to meet LPA requirements.
“Through these workshops we are aiming to provide cattle producers with assistance to develop a Farm Biosecurity Plan which incorporates J-BAS, and therefore meets the requirements for both LPA and JD” said Mr Smith.
State Farming Organisations have been leading the way in providing producers with farm biosecurity information. These workshops have been designed to assist and further extend these activities.
The workshops will include presentations from the Integrity Systems Company and the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN). This will be followed by practical, hands-on sessions to allow producers to develop their Farm Biosecurity Plans.
For producers who can’t attend the workshops, online support through webinars and other online resources will also be provided.
Source: Cattle Council of Australia and Sheepmeat Council of Australia. For more information about the workshops and dates, visit: http://www.lbn.org.au/