As a primary producer, particularly as a livestock enterprise owner or manager, there are some steps you can take to help protect our Tasmanian agricultural industries and your properties from foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease. Those actions include:
Have in place or update an existing Farm Biosecurity Plan.
Inspect your livestock regularly and follow up immediately on any unusual signs of disease.
Ensure you are using appropriate PPE where necessary.
Implement strong biosecurity hygiene and cleaning processes on your property.
Quarantine newly purchased livestock.
Report suspected disease to your veterinarian or the Exotic Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 888).
Maintain and uphold livestock traceability requirements such as the NLIS.
Wash hands and wear clean shoes and clothing before and after handling livestock.
Farm biosecurity planning
If you do not already have a farm biosecurity plan for your property, start one now. There are many resources available online which will assist including the websites of Biosecurity Tasmania and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) – as well as the Farm Biosecurity website.
MLA Integrity Systems provides a range of tools and assistance as part of the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program.
The Biosecurity section includes information on biosecurity practices and a downloadable template. If you have an LPA account you can also upload the information online.
MLA Integrity Systems biosecurity information and downloadable template.
It is essential early signs of FMD are not missed. If you have any concerns immediately contact your veterinarian or call the Exotic Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.
A very important part of farm biosecurity is having suitable wash down and cleaning facilities for gear and equipment, clothing and footwear, and vehicles or other agricultural equipment.
When moving between properties you should always ensure that any clothing or footwear has been cleaned with detergent and hot water to remove bulk contamination (above 75˚C where possible), and then disinfected with an appropriate solution such as sodium hypochlorite or citric acid.
Cleaning and disinfection of clothing and equipment remains one of the strongest protections against the spread of FMD:
Make sure your vehicle is free of mud, soil, seeds and plant material. While it is recommended that you wash the wheels and undercarriage with a high pressure, high temperature washer (> 75˚C) before entering the property, using cold water to remove dirt will also work.
Check your clothing, hair and hats for any seeds or plant material. Pay special attention to your shoes as they can easily carry contaminated soil and seeds.
Clean and disinfect any equipment (such as pruning shears) in between use on different properties. (Wipe your equipment over with soapy water and then disinfectant. Remember that unless an item is thoroughly clean, it will not be satisfactorily disinfected)
When arriving at a new property, park in the designated area for visitors or well away from cropping or plantation areas.
Report to the homestead or the farm’s office or call before arriving. Always respect property owners’ biosecurity rules and requirements. Do not enter livestock areas, cropping or plantation areas without permission and be sure to follow the manager’s conditions of entry.
Swill feeding is a major contributor to the spread of FMD. The 2001 FMD outbreak in the UK started through the feeding of swill to pigs. For more information visit the swill feeding and RAM webpage.
‘Swill feeding’ is the act of feeding of food scraps to pigs. Prohibited pig feed (‘swill’) includes meat (raw or cooked), bone, blood, offal or hide derived from a mammal and any thing that has come into contact with these materials.
If you suspect that someone is feeding swill to their pigs or if you know of someone attempting to sell swill to pig owners, it is important that such activities are reported to Biosecurity Tasmania.
Exotic Animal Disease Hotline: 1800 675 888
Biosecurity Tasmania: (03) 6165 3777