The importance of biosecurity in livestock operations is in the spotlight with the pork industry doing their best to keep African swine fever out of the country.
As a goat producer, the best way to protect yourself from biosecurity risks is to keep diseases, pests and weeds off your property.
Always insist on a properly completed National Goat Health Declaration and National Vendor Declaration when purchasing stock, when offering goats for sale, and when mandated by interstate movement requirements.
Another important tool to help minimise the risk of disease in goats is the National Kid Rearing Plan, which chiefly targets two major debilitating diseases: Johne's disease and caprine arthritis encephalitis.
NSW Farmers has welcomed the Australian government's recent focus on improving the national biosecurity system, including the establishment of a Biosecurity Futures group and increased screening operations at entry points.
The Biosecurity Futures group is tasked with advising the Minister for Agriculture on biosecurity issues and delivers on a recommendation from the independent review of the capacity of the National biosecurity system.
The government has also responded to the threat of African swine fever and other pests and diseases by consulting with industry, increasing surveillance, and demonstrating agile detection of biosecurity risk.
The Australian government's tough line on illegal imports of meat is also welcome.
A number of visitors have already had their visa cancelled for failing to declare meat products in their luggage.
However, agricultural and environmental groups are still waiting for the federal government to introduce another of the report's recommendations - a long-promised biosecurity levy on sea imports.
It is critical that we have long-term, sustainable funding dedicated to biosecurity, with the costs shared across system participants.
Progress on this levy has stalled significantly, and NSW Farmers calls on the Australian government to prioritise its implementation.
Long-term funding for biosecurity, investment on high-risk pathways and cost-sharing mechanisms are three key components for government focus, to further reduce the risk of pests and diseases threatening our agricultural industries.
- The Goat Industry Council of Australia is an affiliate of the NSW Farmers Association.