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

Johne’s disease scoring system update.

The scoring system for managing Johne’s disease has been simplified for 2019.  The new plan is called Johne’s Disease Dairy Score.  Queensland dairy farmers will want to make sure they understand the changes.

The 2019 plan has less reliance on calf separation than the 2016 plan that it replaces.  It recognises vaccination as a method of reducing the impacts of Johne’s disease and continues to value the farm biosecurity plan and herd testing.  The new plan also has a new date for ending the transition period for farmers to adopt a score, now of 30 September 2019.

In the context of Johne’s Disease Dairy Score, a farm biosecurity plan should specifically address Johne’s disease risks, and a herd test will ordinarily be a Herd Environmental Culture (HEC) Test on a sample of slurry.

To meet the new transition date of 30 September, sampling for HEC testing will need to be completed by 30 June 2019.

This is a summary of how the changes will affect Queensland dairy farmers:

  • If you have elected to be a Dairy Score of 8 under the 2016 plan, continue your annual discussion and endorsement of your biosecurity plan with your veterinarian, and the deadline for sampling for your first HEC Test is now 30 June 2019.

  • If you chose to have a Dairy Score of 7 under the 2016 plan by doing a HEC Test but without veterinary endorsement of your biosecurity plan, you may either:

o   Upgrade to an 8 by engaging your veterinarian in your biosecurity plan (and ensuring you’ve completed your first HEC Test by 30 September 2019, or

o   Maintain the score 7 if you have already done the HEC Test and have a suitable biosecurity plan.

  • To maintain a Johne’s Disease Dairy Score of 8, you must continue to engage your veterinarian every year in discussion and endorsement of your biosecurity plan, and complete a HEC test with negative results every two years.  If you don’t engage your veterinarian every year in your biosecurity plan, your score will lapse to 7.

  • To maintain a Johne’s Disease Dairy Score of 7, you must continue your biosecurity plan and complete a HEC test with negative results every two years.  If you don’t do a HEC test with negative results every two years, you could do a HEC test every three years and your score would lapse to 6, or do no further HEC tests and your score will lapse to 4.

  • If you chose to manage JD risks under the 2016 plan by only having a biosecurity plan and not by any herd testing, your property was score 3, or score 4 if you had the 3-step calf separation in place for at least 4 years.  In either case, your Johne’s Disease Dairy Score is now 4 under the 2019 plan.

  • Herds which don’t have a biosecurity plan that addresses Johne’s disease risks default to score 0.  Due to the requirements for a farm biosecurity plan by both LPA and most dairy processors, score 0 should not apply to any dairy farm.

  • The score for any property on which there has been a clinical case (scouring and wasting diagnosed as due to JD) in the past 5 years is determined initially by the time since the last clinical case.  The score may then progress through vaccinating and herd testing with negative results.

Further information is available at:

Dairy Australia - https://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/farm/animal-management/animal-health/bovine-johnes-disease

Source: Lawrence Gavey BSc (Hons), BVSc, Grad Cert Bus (Public Sector Mgmt); Principal Veterinarian, Animal Disease Containment, Animal Biosecurity and Welfare, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries