There has been a lot of commentary recently and confusion on johnes disease and requirements for dairy farmers to undertake farm biosecurity plans. I would like to clarify the current state of play for QDO members.
To maintain their Johnes disease free status, dairy farmers in Queensland are required to develop a farm biosecurity plan and undertake a slurry test by 30 June 2018.
Dairy farmers may be required to undertake a farm biosecurity plan to comply with LPA requirements to send animals to the meat works from 1 October 2017. However our national organisation, Australian Dairy Farmers, is seeking for dairy farmers to be exempt from this requirement given the on farm auditing and biosecurity plan requirements in place for the dairy industry. It is likely therefore that dairy farmers will be exempt from the new LPA requirements and we will know this for sure during August.
To assist our members, QDO is working closely with the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Dairy Australia to develop a farm biosecurity planning tool for farmers. We are expecting to begin workshops for QDO members to develop farm biosecurity plans from August 2017. At these workshops farmers will develop a farm biosecurity plan for their farm. Also a slurry test will be taken by a Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry staff member within a month or so of the workshop for farmers that would like a slurry test taken as part of their biosecurity plan. These workshops and slurry tests will be free to QDO members and will meet a farmers biosecurity requirements and also provide direction to farmers on key management practices on farm to undertake to manage biosecurity risks.
If any QDO member is concerned or confused re requirements to undertake farm biosecurity plans please contact QDO via the executive officer or any council member.