Big turnout for disease update

One hundred and fifty farmers from across Tasmania last week attended information updates on Biosecurity Planning and Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Response to Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease. 

Farmers had the opportunity to hear from Dairy Australia and Biosecurity Tasmania on the current outbreaks in neighbouring countries, what steps the Commonwealth and the Tasmanian Governments have taken in response, how the diseases are spread and what farmers can do to ensure they have good biosecurity practices and a plan in place.

Regional Manager, DairyTas, Laura Richardson, said the risk of Foot and Mouth Disease, and also Lumpy Skin Disease, continues to be an issue farmers want to be on top of. 

“Tasmania’s farmers want to understand the risks, and importantly, what they can do on their farms to manage those disease risks and any other biosecurity threats that could impact their business.” 

The ‘around the state update’ was organised with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and Biosecurity Tasmania and held in Hamilton, Scottsdale, Deloraine, Smithton and Burnie. 

Farmers had the opportunity to ask wide and varied questions and discuss the response and risks in a way that related directly to their farms. 

“There was a real focus on what practical measure they can take to help protect their farming business,” said Ms Richardson. 

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association CEO, Hugh Christie, said it was important the farmers understand the “meaningful steps they can take to manage biosecurity on their farms and be informed about the measures in place to reduce the risks of an incursion of FMD or LSD.” 

“This sharing of information and concerns helps alleviate the understandably high levels of stress being experienced by many in the community due to these critical biosecurity risks.” 

Tasmania’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Kevin de Witte, said Biosecurity Tasmania “sought to emphasize that Australia is not infected with FMD and with the small increase in predicted risk we can successfully reduce our risks post-border through the application of important farm biosecurity measures.” 

“These measures include farm security – assessing visitors, supplies and quarantining incoming livestock, ensure visitors come clean and go clean, keeping livestock traceability up to date, ensuring pigs are not fed prohibited pig feed (swill) and reporting any suspicious livestock disease signs to your veterinarian or the hotline 1800 675 888,” said Mr de Witte. 

All farmers and farm workers are being reminded to help reduce the risk of Foot-and-Mouth-Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease outbreaks on their farms by knowing what to look for and reporting if they see symptoms in their animals. They are also being encouraged to think through and have an up-to- date biosecurity plan for their farm, including vehicle access and how they would reduce stock movements and importantly have their NLIS records up to date.

Information is available at

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