Farm Biosecurity news
August 2018
Don’t get fleeced by OB

As sheep breeding season approaches, so does the threat of ovine brucellosis (OB), an infectious disease that can affect all sheep breeds and cause considerable economic loss for producers.

Causing inflammation of the male reproductive organs, OB can result in infertility in some affected rams and in some cases, has been associated with abortion and increased perinatal mortality in ewes, said Dr Rob Barwell, Animal Health Australia’s Senior Manager, Biosecurity.

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Beekeepers urged to adopt Biosecurity Code of Practice

All commercial and hobby beekeepers are being urged to adopt the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice to keep their bees healthy and to safeguard honey bee and pollination dependent industries.

Honey production is worth more than $100 million annually, along with sales of beeswax, queen and packaged bees. This is dwarfed by the benefits of bee pollination services.

In coming months around 200,000 beehives will be transported to and from almond growing regions in southern Australia for pollination, making effective biosecurity of bee hives more important than ever.

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Biosecurity basics: Make your own footbath

Dirty boots can pose a very real risk to your property. People can unintentionally carry pest or disease-causing organisms on unwashed footwear, bringing them on to your farm without even realising it.

Soil-borne pests (like phylloxera, anthrax, Panama disease) and weed seeds are carried in dirt and mud. Pieces of infected plant material, manure and soil itself can carry diseases directly from one farm to the next.

A very simple way to manage this biosecurity risk is to ensure that visitors and staff who need to access your production areas thoroughly wash and disinfect their footwear.

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A fluffy story prompts a serious reminder

A loose ram wandering an outer suburb of Canberra may have captured the imaginations of local residents, but has prompted Animal Health Australia to issue a reminder to sheep producers about the importance of biosecurity, starting with a good fence.

It pays to remember the risks that livestock can pose to human and animal health, according to Dr Simon Humphrys, Executive Manager Biosecurity and Product Integrity.

“Stray livestock pose as great a risk to farming operations as feral animals and wildlife, if not greater,” Dr Humphrys said.

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Survival of soil organisms is a wake-up call for biosecurity

Tiny creatures in soil that attack plants have the ability to survive for at least three years stored in dry conditions, showed a recent study. The research article provides new insights into the biosecurity threats posed by passenger travel and trade between countries and tests various methods for nematodes detection.

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Annual land and stock return more valuable than you think

Local Land Services is urging NSW landholders to complete their annual land and stock return by August 31 and help maintain the State’s capacity to respond to emergencies.

Return information is invaluable in the event of an emergency disease outbreak, such as avian influenza or Hendra virus.

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Cattle deaths from tick fever refocus attention on biosecurity fund

The case for voluntary biosecurity funds has returned to the spotlight this week after a cattle producing family in Queensland’s tick-free zone lost 18 cows to a tick-fever outbreak.

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Spot and stop barley blotch this winter

Barley crops in some high and medium rainfall areas of Western Australia may be exposed to damaging levels of spot form of net blotch (SFNB) this winter, but new research shows risks can be reduced with tactical fungicide use.

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Ovine John’s Disease and footrot management changes

Ovine Johne’s Disease and footrot will be managed under a new model in South Australia.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone announced earlier this month the management of the endemic sheep diseases would change.

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