On October 1, new regulations came into force meant to guarantee that farms minimise the risk of importing infectious diseases, invasive pests or weeds. It’s part of the industry’s attempt to toughen up the safeguards and so maintain Australia’s good name in local and global markets.
Farmers should check they’ve received their pack from Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) spelling out the new requirements, according to Bonnie Skinner, biosecurity manager at the Livestock Biosecurity Network. If they haven’t it may be because the mail is delayed or it may be because the authorities have the wrong address.
The second thing farmers need to do is to complete the On Farm Biosecurity Plan template – the list of tasks which need to be ticked off.
“Be honest about what you are doing on the farm,” Ms Skinner said.
“Farmers should be thinking about what practices they are doing and how to make improvements.”
Farmers should be thinking about what practices they are doing and how to make improvements.Bonnie Skinner of Livestock Biosecurity Network
Each farm will need a biosecurity plan if it is to continue being accredited under the LPA scheme, without which selling becomes impossible.
Re-accreditation will happen every three years. Ms Skinner said farmers don’t need to re-apply immediately.
“My advice is wait until you are contacted to be re-accredited. Don’t panic.
“Do the plan and wait until you are contacted’.”
She also says that farmers need not worry needlessly about the burden of new regulation.
“In some ways, it’s just a new word for old practices. It’s formalising what people have been doing.”
These have to be accessible on farms and people involved with livestock need to be familiar with them. People have to be trained, she said.
Further information on the changes is available at the LPA website.