Biosecurity update for dairy farmers

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Exotic Animal Disease Preparedness Taskforce leader Dr Brant Smith spoke about biosecurity at a breakfast at International Dairy Week.

Exotic Animal Disease Preparedness Taskforce leader Dr Brant Smith said Australia enjoyed a good international reputation for managing disease threats but he said vigilance was important.

Speakers at the International Dairy Week industry leaders’ breakfast on Thursday, January 19 reminded attendees that the potential damage from an incursion of foot and mouth disease would run into billions of dollars and immediately shut down export markets.

Everyone was urged to put the animal disease hotline into their mobile phones: 1800 675 888.

Australian Dairy Farmers animal health welfare and biosecurity adviser Justin Toohey emphasised the importance of on-farm biosecurity plans and the need to separate road traffic visiting farms and pathways used by cattle.

Senator Linda White, representing Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, talked about the importance of the dairy industry to the economy.

Speaking about her role in the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee of parliament, she noted the submissions that had been made by agricultural bodies.

Senator White emphasised how important it was for agriculture to present a united front in their lobbying of political representatives.

She said while the dairy industry was united, some unnamed agricultural organisations were not. She said to achieve maximum impact in lobbying a united approach was helpful.

The breakfast was organised by Australian Dairy Farmers.