Biosecurity management plan: upgrade checklist.

If you have a biosecurity management plan (the plan) in place, use this checklist to include all required information to ensure the plan aligns to the regulation.

  • Ensure the plan is clearly titled ‘biosecurity management plan’ and add a section that states ‘this is a Biosecurity management plan in accordance with Section 41B(1) and (2) of the Queensland Biosecurity Regulation 2016’.

  • Include a statement that the purpose of the plan is to: ‘State the measures to prevent, control or stop the spread of biosecurity matter into, at, or from the management areas as defined in your biosecurity management plan, pursuant to the Queensland Biosecurity Regulation 2016’.

  • Clearly identify all the potential biosecurity risks to your property posed by the entry of people.

  • Include a clearly defined biosecurity management area where the plan applies (a map or diagram of the place is recommended). If you have areas of different risk on your property where special requirements apply (e.g. the piggery, a calf rearing shed, feed pens) then define these clearly. Required entry/exit points and designated tracks would also be useful.

    • Display signs on your property that clearly identify those different areas.

  • Clearly define the measures a person is required to comply with when entering, present at, or leaving any management area at the place.

  • Describe the measures as clearly as possible so there is no confusion or ambiguity as to whether and how the measure must be complied with.

  • You must make a copy of the plan available for inspection, on request, during ordinary business hours.

  • It is recommended that you ask any person entering your property to confirm they have read and understood the plan is in existence and they understand their obligations under it.

  • Consider whether it is a reasonable requirement to require visitors entering the management area to record in a register some or all of the following:

    • personal details

    • vehicle details

    • purpose of their visit

    • a declaration that they have read the plan and they understand the measures they must comply with when entering, being present at, or leaving the place.

  • Clearly display signs positioned at access points to the management area on the property. The signs need to state that a biosecurity management plan applies to the place and that it is an offence for a person entering, present at, or leaving the management area to fail to comply with the measures stated in the plan unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

  • Include a contact number and ensure you or property manager can be reached to make the plan available for inspection upon request during business hours.

If you don't have a biosecurity management plan in place, a template is available from Animal Health Australia.

Source: Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Updated advice on your rights with regards to on-farm incursion: unauthorised access

Important information - please read full article.

The Queensland Government has been working to boost significant the protection to farmers, their livestock and properties this included the development of an Animal Industry Security Taskforce.

The key purpose of this group is to review current policies, legislation and regulations regarding planning and response to animal welfare group activities on farms and other agricultural places of business e.g. feedlots, abattoirs etc.

DAF, QPS and other Government Departments are involved to advise the relevant/various groups on their legal positions, rights and obligations in the event of trespass, break end enter and wilful damage to ensure there is consistency across all industries.

Below is the updated advice and recommended course of action should your farm be targeted.

In the event of trespass

1. Should any unauthorised persons attend any property, the lawful occupier should immediately contact police on 000 if considered an emergency, or Policelink on 131 444 if it is not an immediate threat.

2. Avoid confrontation and violence at all costs. The safety of you and your family is the priority. Don’t threaten to harm and don’t produce, use or threaten to use weapons.

3. Don’t answer any questions, particularly personal ones (other than providing your name).

4. Don’t argue about ideology; this is not about changing minds.

5. Don’t discuss your farming or business practices or disclose where any animals and/or equipment is stored or housed.

6. If it is safe to engage with the trespassers, do continually ask questions and provide clear directions. Repeat the below questions and statements if they don’t respond. Be prepared for the use of slogans.

a. Try to identify the organiser/leader of the group by asking who is in charge.

b. Ask them their names – tell them yours and tell them that you are the lawful occupier. This shows accountability and willingness to be cooperative.

c. Ask them why they are there.

d. Ask who gave them permission to be there. Tell them that they have no permission to be on the property.

e. Acknowledge that they have a right to protest but ask them to leave and move to public property. You can use statements such as ‘I understand your desire to protest, but please go back to the farm gate’.

f. Tell them that this is a place of lawful business and a home.

g. Personalise the experience. State that you and your family or workers are upset or fearful due to their presence.

h. Advise them that they may compromise the biosecurity and health of the animals on the property.

i. Call the police and tell the group that you have.

7. If possible and safe to do so, record actions – use a phone or another video-recording device.

8. Focus on collecting evidence, note:

  • information about the incident i.e. time of entry

  • registration plates or descriptions of vehicles used

  • who seems to be in charge

  • description of persons

  • who said what and what did they say/do.

9. If any animal is injured during or as a result of an incident, contact your private veterinarian.

10. If any animal dies during or as a result of an incident, contact Policelink on 131 444

11. If you have concerns of any incident risking your property’s workplace, health and safety management system contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on 1300 362 128 or visit worksafe.qld.gov.au/contact-us

Investigation of matters by police – receiving a complaint

Essentially by being called to a location, police are responding to a report of an offence i.e. a complaint is made.

The successful investigation of offences and the management of incidents is dependent on timely and accurate information being passed to investigating officers. Police officers who receive complaints or reports of offences and incidents are responsible for the accurate collection, recording and dissemination of this information.

First response police officers tasked to attend an occurrence are to promptly investigate the facts and circumstances in order to:

1. identify if an offence has been committed

2. identify potential witnesses and offenders

3. obtain all relevant information

4. safeguard evidence.

Once an offence is identified, police then must consider two factors when deciding to prosecute:

1. sufficiency of evidence, and

2. public interest.

There are a number of aspects of both areas that police must be satisfied with. When they ask a landowner/occupier ‘do they wish to make a complaint?’, police are ensuring that they are agreeable to providing the necessary evidence to commence a prosecution. This may include later providing a written statement and attendance in court as a witness. If they have recorded the actions of the activists, then this can be tendered as evidence.

How to protect your property

People are encouraged to review their enterprise security arrangements to reduce the risk or impact of an unauthorised entry incident. You may want to take into consideration the following strategies which support both increased property security and good biosecurity practices:

  • Limit access points to the property.

  • Make sure all doors, gates and other entry points are locked when staff are not present.

  • Have a biosecurity management plan in place.

  • Display clear and appropriate signage stating entry point, biosecurity and workplace safety requirements.

  • ·Keep records of audits, staff training and biosecurity procedures up to date and at hand.

  • Maintain a safety management system to ensure a safe workplace for yourself and workers, including contractors.

  • Consider the installation of CCTV video surveillance systems.

  • Screen new staff applicants carefully and consider terms of employment.

  • If you receive any threats or believe your farm may be targeted, inform the police by calling Policelink on 131 444.

As of 26 April 2019 – Biosecurity regulation amendment

To further support producers, the Queensland Government has fast-tracked an amendment to Queensland’s Biosecurity Regulation 2016 to address potential biosecurity risks of unauthorised entry to places where animals are kept.

This amendment will take effect from 26 April 2019. Under the amendment, anybody that enters your property must comply with your biosecurity management plan when they enter or leave and while they are on your property. To support the security of your property under this new regulation, livestock businesses are encouraged to:

  • Ensure you are registered as a biosecurity entity with Biosecurity Queensland (registration and renewal fees apply for commercial primary producers)

  • Ensure your biosecurity management plan is up-to-date with information that aligns to the new biosecurity regulation:

  • Industry communique, on-farm incursion: unauthorised entry, April 2019 4

  • For those who currently have a biosecurity plan in place, a checklist is available to support you in upgrading this plan to ensure you have the best possible protection under the legislation. Visit daf.qld.gov.au/biosecurityplan or phone 13 25 23.

  • If you don’t have a plan in place, information on developing a biosecurity management plan which aligns to the Queensland Regulation is available from daf.qld.gov.au/biosecurityplan or phone 13 25 23.

  • Display signs at access points to the property stating that a biosecurity management plan applies to the place. You can download an approved sign at daf.qld.gov.au/biosecurityplan

Review of Natural Resource Management Projects.

QDO has contracted Senior Dairy Extension Officer Ross Warren from Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for six weeks to assist QDO Industry Development Officer Torie Harrison in conducting a thorough review of Natural Resource Management projects. Since Ruth Chalk’s resignation Torie has been the acting NRM Project Manager. Projects that fall under NRM, and will be involved in the review, include Dairying Better ‘n Better, Dairy & Fodder Water for Profit, and the Reef Programme in the Burnett Mary and Wet Tropics catchments. 

Ross has over twenty years of experience in the dairy industry and has worked with QDO with some of the delivery in these NRM projects. This prior background and understanding of the NRM projects along with the great rapport Ross has built with farmers and industry bodies will greatly aid the review in identifying possible impediments and pathways to progress and improve the projects.

 The desired outcome of this review is to provide recommendations to the QDO board on the structure of the NRM space into the future. It is important that previous work undertaken is evaluated so that problems are solved in the future workplan to ensure funding targets and outcomes can be achieved. It is also of great importance to QDO that the work we undertake in the NRM space delivers real outcomes to Queensland dairy farmers in line with QDO’s two priorities of increasing profits or mitigating risk for members.

As part of the review Ross and Torie will be in contact with several farmers over the coming weeks to gather feedback and suggestions on the projects. If you would like to have input in this review please contact Torie 3236 2955 or email torie@qdo.org.au


Ticks are coming, be prepared.

Cattle ticks are a major cost to dairy farmers on the eastern side of the tick line. As temperatures begin to increase into the spring months so do tick populations. Interestingly, there have been some farmers reporting high tick loads through the current winter months which will result in increased tick loads moving into spring and summer this year.

The cattle tick life cycle will vary depending on humidity and temperature, and is outlined in the diagram below. Generally, the cycle will speed up as ideal temperature and humidity levels are reached. Needless to say we generally see higher tick loads in the warmer, wetter months of the year. Usually the popualtion is at it’s lowest in late winter and this is a crucial time to manage tick numbers for the season ahead. Developing a tick management program and being ready to treat the whole herd upon the sight of the first wave of ticks in the spring will reduce numbers of viable breeding females going forward, this is referred to as “treating on the spring rise”. Repeated treatments throughout the year before the next lifecycle has completed is essential to keep populations down.

There are many treatment options available, however, withhold periods do restrict some chemicals on dairy animals, particularly lactating stock. No matter what option is employed, correct dosing and application is paramount to ensure an effective and desirable result, treatment is expensive don’t waste it. Additionally, sub-optimal dose rates build resistance in the tick population and ultimately deem chemicals ineffective which will have significant economic impacts on the business and industry as a whole. Cattle ticks may be tested for resistance to particular chemicals through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. This test takes a couple of months to be performed as a whole life cycle of the tick needs to be completed for assessment for resistance, however, if ticks are not dying after treatment it is a worth while test. Weighing cattle before treating with pour-ons and injectables is also advised.

Paddock rotations are common practice for the milking herd, this does help manage tick numbers to some degree and where possible having some form of paddock rotation for the other classes of stock on the farm is useful. One strategy that has worked well is to treat young stock with a “long acting” chemical, there are a couple on the market registered for dairy cattle, then move these cattle through as many paddocks as possible on the farm to essentially “vaccum” ticks. The long acting mode of action keeps killing ticks as they attach and go through their lifecycle for many weeks, helping to reduce populations further. There are many chemical options, having a plan around tick management will help reduce numbers.

Vaccinating young cattle with trivalent vaccine (three germ blood) is also recommended. Just because cattle are reared in ticky country does not ensure they are immune to tick fever. There were cases of tick fever in young cattle in the Gympie area in the summer of 2018, vaccinating calves at 3-9 months of age is recommended. Cattle ticks are costly to manage, however, the ramifications to production and animal health are enormous if left unmanaged. Having a plan and treatment strategy going into the spring will help keep tick populations under control and should reduce overall costs for the season.

Ross Warren, Dairy Extension Officer, DAF.

QDO appoints Marketing and Communications Manager

Following the success of QDO's grant submission to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, we are delighted to welcome Sarah Ferguson as the Marketing and Communications Manager. Sarah's role will be to develop marketing strategies to help consumers make better informed decisions when purchasing milk, assist farmers and small milk processors to improve their marketing, and assist the industry to develop its own 'Fair Milk Logo' scheme. 

Sarah has over 20 years of marketing experience and has a particular passion for developing marketing campaigns to change consumer behaviour and to help drive improved profits.

She is looking forward to meeting with as many members as possible over the coming weeks and encourages you all to give her a call or email at Comms@qdo.org.au.