Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

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What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is the management of risks to the economy, the environment, and the community, of pests and diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading.

Biosecurity can be implemented off-shore, at the border and on-farm. By implementing the recommended measures in your day-to-day operations, you will improve your own biosecurity and that of your region, while minimising production losses and unnecessary costs.

Australia’s geographic isolation has meant that we have relatively few of the pests and diseases that affect agricultural industries overseas. Freedom from these exotic pests and diseases is a vital part of the future profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture. Biosecurity allows us to preserve existing trade opportunities and provide evidence to support access to international markets.

What is farm biosecurity?

Farm biosecurity is a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests, diseases and weeds. Farm biosecurity is your responsibility, and that of every person visiting or working on your property.

Producers play a key role in protecting Australian plant and livestock industries from pests and diseases by implementing sound biosecurity measures on-farm.

If a new pest or disease becomes established on your farm, it will affect your business through increased costs (for monitoring, production practices, additional chemical use and labour), reduced productivity (in yield and/or quality) or loss of markets. Early detection and immediate reporting of an exotic pest or disease increases the chance of effective and efficient eradication.

The Farm Biosecurity program is an important part of Australia’s emergency animal disease and exotic plant pest surveillance systems. Surveillance allows us to preserve existing trade opportunities and provides evidence of Australia’s pest and animal disease status to support access to international markets.

If you spot anything unusual, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881 or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888.

Regional biosecurity

To strengthen the biosecurity measures implemented on your property, consider including biosecurity issues and activities in community or regional meetings.

Biosecurity threats to all properties in your region can be minimised through a collaborative approach.

Promotion of biosecurity at the regional level is enhanced through:

  • broad engagement of the community
  • understanding the region’s vulnerability, the source and nature of threats
  • knowledge of the skills base and resources available to the region
  • a commitment from stakeholders to implement biosecurity measures, surveillance and reporting.

Implementation of farm biosecurity underpins regional biosecurity, which in turn underpins national biosecurity.

If on-farm measures are supported by community based measures, a coordinated regional framework for biosecurity can be achieved.