By Brian Tessmann, QDO President
Queensland dairy farmers have always committed to keeping their farm businesses free from pests and diseases. It is because of this that Queensland dairy farmers are concerned about the rules changes made last year to the state’s biosecurity legislation around managing and limiting the spread of both Cattle Ticks and Bovine Johnes Disease (BJD).
In a nutshell these changes were about transferring more of the onus of biosecurity responsibilities and prevention management from government to the farmer. The new legislation places a biosecurity obligation on all farmers to stay free of pests and disease and, more importantly, not to infect anyone or anything else with a pest or disease.
To assist farmers with their obligation to preventing diseases such as Bovine Johne's Disease and Cattle ticks, Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF), will be running a number of free workshops for QDO members.
QDAF staff Lawrence Gavey (BJD expert) and Malcolm Macleod (tick expert) will be assisting in facilitating the workshops, which will provide disease management options for farmers. These workshops offer a chance for farmers to develop accredited biosecurity plans to ensure their properties remain free of infections. These plans will allow farmers to demonstrate their infection free status to cattle buyers, milk processors and other interested parties.
Unlike southern states, where Bovine Johnes Disease is commonplace amongst the dairy industry, Queensland has maintained its status as free from the disease. If the QDO biosecurity program is followed it can be expected most QDO members will maintain a Bovine Johnes Disease Dairy Score of seven or better, ensuring future markets remain open and viable.
I encourage all members to attend one of these biosecurity workshops find out how to protect both their farms and themselves under the new biosecurity obligations. The first of these workshops will be held in Gympie and Kingaroy on 8 August and Toowoomba and Warwick on 9 August. Spaces are limited so if you are a QDO member in these areas please contact QDO and book your place.