Whilst Agforce Qld and the Livestock Biosecurity Network continue to address the need for biosecurity plans with Queensland producers, services and stock routes are highlighted.
LBN Queensland extension manager, Rachael O’Brien, said after a JBAS 6 was enforced earlier this year by the Northern Territory, producers started to get their biosecurity plans together to participate in JBAS. From 01 October 2017 producers will also require a biosecurity plan to be reaccredited with Livestock Production Assurance.
“Producers biosecurity plans do not override legislation, what it does help with is addressing a biosecurity risk,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Property plans address all the biosecurity risks including stock routes and services entering the property, and how they can be managed.
“If producers are in a position where they have services or mining entering their property, it is up producers to manage it.
“It is not about not allowing them to enter the property, but more about assessing what risks their activities pose and whether or not they need to be managed.
“If a power provider has lines going through your property, producers can start by assessing what that activity does pose. Is it a risk of weeds? Are contractors bringing something on the property that producers do not want there, do they leave behind their rubbish? Once the risk has been identified producers can start to think about how to minimise that risk.
“For one producers can contact the company or persons coming onto their property and explain to them that they have a biosecurity plan in place and through that they encourage services to work with them in achieving outcomes.
“If producers are in a weed infested area they can ask contractors for wash down certificates before entering the property. But it depends whether there is a problem there to start with. Biosecurity is about assessing and addressing risk. If the contractor entering your property is coming to the power box on a clearly marked road or driveway and is not deviating through your pastures, there really isn’t any greater risk and therefore in this instance producers might just like to know the contractor has been rather than washing down the vehicle. It comes down to identifying risk and being practical.
Ms O’Brien said stock routes would be managed the way they had always been, through communication.
“Stock routes are managed by local governments in some instances, so it is about communications between the stock route user, stock route owner and properties around the stock route,” she said.
“Stock routes are not really going to affect producers in terms of JBAS or LPA accreditation. A producer will not lose their JBAS status if someone of a lower status uses a stock route on their property but producers will need to think about the risks and speak to the authority about their concerns.
“Other problems that could be posed with stock routes or any gazetted road through properties is other people creating an issue, for example bringing on weeds or camping on the land and leaving rubbish behind that could be harmful to livestock. In the event that a gazetted road or stock route does exist, producers are aware of it and can implement practical risk management such as asking the stock route authority to communicate with them regarding people who use them and producers checking the area for weeds. In the example of a gazetted road, it is not practical for producers to have a visitors log for everyone who uses that road. So good biosecurity practices is about doing all that you can within reason.”
Stock routes between tick free and infested zones will also continue to be managed under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Cattle tick is still managed under government legislation.
A producer must still follow legislation in respects to cattle tick and meet their General Biosecurity Obligation. If they are unsure about new legislation that came in, in July 2016 they should contact their respective Biosecurity Queensland office.
“Some of the stock routes in North Queensland are made up of public roads, if producers want to use stock routes for the purpose of moving livestock by hoof it is important that they contact the relevant authority as they may require a permit to utilise the road,” Ms O’Brien said.
“In respects to cattle tick and stock routes, the legislations still stands so if producers are moving from an infested zone to a free, they still need to abide by the biosecurity act and their general biosecurity obligation while moving along a stock route. This includes cattle entering the free zone to be tick free.”
Producers across Queensland continue to implement biosecurity plans for their properties, leading up to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) deadline of October 1.
LPA conduct 2000 random property audits per year and producers could risk being caught out if they do not have a biosecurity plan in place by after the deadline and they are selected for an audit.
“If producers don’t complete their plan by that date and is then audited, and they don’t have a biosecurity property plan in place they are marked as not compliant, and will be required to fix it,” Ms O’Brien said.
“The October 1 deadline does not affect JBAS. Producers who wish to participate in JBAS will need to address the JD specific section in the templates (Johne’s Optional) to retain a JBAS 6 however producers that do not complete their plan by October 1 will not drop to a JBAS 0.
“Producers will not be ‘dropped’ from the JBAS scheme upon this deadline. If producers do not wish to participate in JBAS they can opt out and set themselves as a JBAS 0 but no one will be dropped on 01 October 2017. It is business as usual for cattle producers.”