Queensland no longer BJD free

The Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson has announced that as of 1 July 2016, the Queensland Government will no longer regulate livestock entry into Queensland or quarantine properties infected with Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD).

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) President Brian Tessmann acknowledged that whist the decision was not what QDO and its members had advocated for, the dairy industry was prepared to work constructively with the Government to see a sensible transition under the new regulations.

“The Queensland dairy industry has held a position for decades to maintain its very low prevalence and freedom from BJD and we hope that this was not all in vain with the lifting of the protections.”

“A recent survey of the QDO membership determined that an overwhelming majority of our dairy farmer members were against the removal of BJD protections.”

“QDO has, and will continue to represent our member’s positions by consulting and engaging with the state government for a sensible biosecurity outcome.”

“It is disappointing that industry was not been given access to the regulations earlier to allow our members to better prepare for the framework change.”

“While the Government looks to a “shared responsibility” with industry, the stark reality will be a transference of responsibility and liability to the individual producer.”

“QDO welcomes the announcement of a surveillance program as part of the new $10.8 million funding for Biosecurity, and will seek urgent talks to target priority areas for dairy”

“It is now essential that all Queensland dairy farmers take all necessary precautions to check movement histories when trading cattle to minimise the impact of Johne’s disease on their property.”

Guidelines for safely purchasing livestock and making Johne’s disease risk-based decisions are available at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au.