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

Spring into action with your biosecurity planning

September 5, 2014

LambsWith the arrival of spring, livestock producers are reminded to have their biosecurity plans in place as many pests, diseases and weeds attempt to make a comeback after the winter lull.

Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland said increased monitoring of stock, crops and pastures is an important biosecurity practise to implement this Spring.

“Spring time, particularly for the country’s southern production regions, means warmer weather, longer days and hopefully, some wet weather. However, this combination means pastures can be inundated with weeds that can harm livestock,” Mr Rowland said.

“Grazing pastures need to be monitored closely for outbreaks of poisonous and invasive weeds. During Spring make an effort to undertake additional inspections on your property to track and manage the spread of weeds. Producers should also consider developing a weed management plan and coordinating eradication or prevention programs with their neighbours.

“Warmer temperatures, combined with moist conditions can also encourage the spread of diseases like footrot. Increased monitoring of stock is vital in identifying early signs of disease and producers should not delay investigating and reporting signs of disease in their stock.”

Spring also keeps many sheep, cattle and goat producers busy with lambing, calving and kid rearing. Mr Rowland said there were a number of biosecurity measures that can help prevent diseases and losses in new born stock during this critical time of year.

“Cattle, sheep and goat producers should familiarise themselves with the risks of Johne’s disease infection in calves, lambs and kids,” he said.

“Goat producers can download the National Kid Rearing Plan from the goat industry page on the Farm Biosecurity website for information on mimimising Johne’s disease and caprine arthritis encephalitis.

“Dairy producers can download the Dairy Australia 3 Step Calf Plan on the Dairy Australia website. This plan guides producers on steps to minimise the risk of bovine Johne’s disease infections in newly born calves.”

Mr Rowland also reminds producers that there is heightened risk of stock losses through predation from wild and feral animals when new born animals arrive at the property.

“Importantly, with all new born stock on the property, producers should ensure steps are taken to minimise attacks from wild dogs, foxes and other predators,” he said.

“Producers are encouraged to develop a wild and feral animal control program, regularly check and mend broken fences, promptly dispose of any carcases lying around on the property and develop a coordinated approach with your neighbours to control ferals and wild animals in your area.”