Biosecurity was front and centre at a recent meeting of the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW, with the show societies demonstrating a growing awareness of the importance of biosecurity practices for show exhibitors and the general public.
Discussion centred on the need to manage the risk of transmissible diseases that can be spread amongst animals at the show. The discussion also considered diseases that can be spread between humans and animals.
Animal Health Australia’s Manager, Endemic Disease, Dr Lorna Citer said the show societies recognised that good show biosecurity was about recognising how disease can enter shows.
“Individual show societies are increasingly seeing a need to manage the risk of diseases entering a showground and how to prevent disease spreading in the ring, housings and the surrounding areas.
“As a result, a number of show societies are now developing biosecurity plans. The plans include a requirement for all stock entering the showground to come with a current animal health statement and adequate separation for animals with a demonstrated higher assurance of disease freedom.
“Other aspects of a good show biosecurity plan include provision of adequate washing facilities for the public and barriers to separate animals from people other than in prescribed areas,” said Dr Citer.
Show societies are working to provide a low risk environment for exhibitors. Equally, exhibitors can do their part by ensuring they have their own farm biosecurity plans in place and provide an animal health statement to demonstrate the steps they have taken to manage disease on their own properties.