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

New tool helps make biosecurity second nature

December 2, 2014

Planner imageThe best defence against diseases, pests and weeds is to implement sound biosecurity practices on farm.

A new planning tool, the Farm Biosecurity Action Planner, is now available to help crop and livestock producers to manage biosecurity risks on their property.

Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland, said the planner helps producers to identify risks based on the Farm Biosecurity Program’s six biosecurity essentials: farm inputs; farm outputs; people, vehicles and equipment; production practices; ferals and weeds; train, plan and record.

“Just about everything that leaves, enters or happens on the property poses some sort of biosecurity risk. This planner provides producers with a guide on the biosecurity risks to look out for and the measures to address those risks,” Mr Rowland said.

“Planning is a simple three step process. The first step is to identify what risks are associated with everyday happenings on the farm, such as receiving new feed, managing visitors or dealing with plant and animal waste. The second step is to look at the recommended actions to address those risks, and the third step is to record your chosen biosecurity actions in a dedicated section on the planner.

“By following these steps, producers will generate structure around their intended biosecurity actions and with better structure and planning, biosecurity becomes more efficient and easier to implement,” he said.

Plant Health Australia’s Manager for Biosecurity Planning and Implementation, Alison Saunders, reiterated that when devising a biosecurity plan for the farm, the six biosecurity essentials are a good place to start.

“By looking at a property with the six biosecurity essentials in mind, a producer can be confident that they are identifying all the relevant biosecurity risks. They can then address the risks by undertaking simple and practical measures suggested in the planner’s checklist,” Alison said.

“If a producer builds a biosecurity plan around their daily, monthly or yearly farm routines, after a while biosecurity should simply become habit,” she said.

Producers can print their own copy and fill in the details by hand, or record the actions they will take in the document’s electronic fields with a computer.