$100,000 for better brucellosis testing

Beef Central, 12/12/2016


  • Coalition Government investing in better diagnostic testing for Bovine Brucella abortus
  • Better diagnostic testing will help demonstrate Australia’s freedom from the disease
  • CSIRO-AAHL to develop test over the next two years
  • Freedom from Bovine Brucella abortus helps to maintain market access for livestock exports


Australia’s reputation as a clean, green exporter will soon be strengthened thanks to the Coalition Government’s $100,000 investment in better diagnosing Brucellosis—funding provided as part of the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has announced work to improve the diagnostic testing for brucellosis would be conducted over two years.

“Australia has been free from Brucella abortus for over two decades, which is essential to negotiations for our livestock exports,” Minister Joyce said

“As it stands, a positive test result for Brucella in cattle must be investigated to ensure that it has not been caused by Brucella abortus.

Mr Joyce said in the 1970’s his father had worked as a vet for the New South Wales Department of Agriculture in the removal of Bovine Brucellosis.

“Under the Coalition Government, I am pleased to announce that the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory will receive $100,000 to develop diagnostic tests that can better differentiate been Brucella abortus and Brucella suis.”

Positive tests for Brucella suis—which can be found in feral pigs and occasionally in cattle being grazed where feral pigs are prevalent—can be confused with Brucella abortus, requiring further testing and problems on arrival in exporting countries.

“It is important to the cattle industry that we continue to demonstrate Australia’s freedom from Bovine Brucella abortus to our trading partners and protect our favourable animal health status,” Minister Joyce said.

“Development of better diagnostics represents a strategic investment in the system that underpins our agricultural productivity.

“It is vital that we continue to improve our ability to understand, detect and respond to pests and diseases—such as Bovine Brucella abortus—that could hurt our farmers, rural communities, agricultural productivity and the national economy,” Minister Joyce said.

“This is another example of the Coalition Government’s commitment to securing the best possible market access opportunities and farmgate returns for Australian farmers.”

The strategic imperative to focus on biosecurity was a strong theme in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The Coalition Government is delivering almost $200 million over four years to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis in White Paper initiatives.



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