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Three people standing around a table where one is filling out a visitor log with an overlay stating ‘Backyard Biosecurity, it’s up to all of us’ and ‘Agriculture Victoria’
Edition 2: Biosecurity
In this edition:
Biosecurity - it's up to all of us

Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility. All landholders, regardless of farm type or size have an important role to play in protecting their properties, animals, and our state and country from biosecurity threats.

Good biosecurity practice involves a series of measures to protect against the entry and spread of pests and diseases. Biosecurity is relevant across all sectors, from Australian ports and borders, to farm paddocks and boundary fences.

Watch animation on Biosecurity Starts on Your Farm

Case studies

The following four case studies show how four Victorian small-scale landholders are looking after their farms and their animals by practicing good biosecurity.

High stakes on the highland cattle farm
Erica breeds Highland cattle on a 5 acre farm in Traralgon. Erica shows her cattle and runs events to connect people with learning disabilities to nature and agriculture.

Watch the video to learn how Erica is keeping her cattle safe.

Brookland Farms: Woman (Erica) holding hay walking in front of a highland cattle

Safeguarding the genetics
Nat and Jono run a regenerative farm in Blampied where they have British White cattle, Berkshire pigs and Finn sheep on 148 acres of rich volcanic soils.

Watch the video to learn how Nat and Jono are keeping their pigs safe.

Glenstrae Highlands: Multiple pigs eating grass with two people (Nat and Jono) walking in the background

Not kidding with biosecurity
Rhonda has a small goat dairy farm in Drouin, where she looks after a variety of goats, including Nigerian Dwarfs and Dairy mix breeds as well as one Saanen Goat on her 5 acre property.

Watch the video to learn how Rhonda is keeping her goats safe.

Topaz Park: Woman (Rhonda) standing with arm around a goat

Protecting alpacas
Lynda operates a young and progressive alpaca and miniature donkey stud in Belgrave South. Her farm is home to between 50-80 alpaca and a small herd of donkeys on 20 acres of highly productive pasture.

Watch the video to learn how Lynda is keeping her alpaca’s safe.

Auravale Alpacas: Woman (Lynda) crouching with arm around a young alpaca
Take these steps on-farm for high standard biosecurity
Manage vehicles and visitors onto your property
Image of biosecurity sign

Place biosecurity signage at all vehicle and pedestrian access points to clearly outline visitor obligations. This may include prompting sign-in processes, or restricting access to certain areas of your property.

Templates for biosecurity signs for your farm gates can be downloaded from Agriculture Victoria's Changes to the Livestock Management Act 2010 website.

Free biosecurity signs for your farmgate can be obtained when you attend one of Agriculture Victoria’s farm biosecurity planning workshops. For more information see the Agriculture Victoria upcoming events webpage. If you wish to arrange a group session for your community or industry group contact Jennifer Shaw via email on

Person scrubbing their shoe over a tub

Have facilities and equipment in place for washing and disinfecting shoes and clothing and any other equipment and vehicles that enter your property.

Person wearing a stethoscope standing in front of multiple cattle

Limit access of visitors or contractors to your livestock or livestock holding areas and ensure everyone arrives with clean footwear and clothing.

Three people standing around a table where one is filling out a visitor log

Document all vehicle and people movements onto your property, such as fodder deliveries, milk pick-ups and agricultural contractors.

Three suitcases with an airplane in the background

Do not allow visitors onto your farm if they have been in a foot-and-mouth disease infected country in the past seven days.

Watch animation video on Come Clean - Go Clean

Managing livestock on your property
Person holding a boot and scrubbing it with a brush

If you are working on a property and are in contact with sick animals, wash your hands, change your clothing, and wash footwear and any equipment after contact, to avoid infecting other healthy animals.

If you are working on a property and are in contact with sick animals, wash your hands, change your clothing, and wash footwear and any equipment after contact, to avoid spreading disease to other healthy animals. Some diseases of livestock are zoonotic, they can be transmitted from animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases include Anthrax, Rabies, Hendra Virus, Q-Fever and Scabby Mouth.

Close up shot of a person’s hands filling out a form

All animals introduced to your property, whether purchased or on agistment, should arrive with relevant movement documentation such as a National Vendor Declaration.

Alpacas exiting a truck with a person standing on the side

When new livestock arrive on your property, isolate them and monitor closely for any signs of sickness for up to two weeks (minimum seven days) before joining with your existing flock or herd. Always monitor the health of your herd or flock on a regular basis.

Close up shot of two pigs

Do not feed or supply pigs with meat, meat products, imported dairy or any food that has been served on the same plate or has come into contact with meat. This is prohibited pig feed.

Watch video on Introducing New Livestock

Know the signs of disease
Woman checking the eye of an alpaca

Emergency animal diseases (EADs) such as foot-and-mouth and lumpy skin disease have the potential to cause devastating impacts to our livestock industry.

While Victoria is fortunate to be free of most of the serious diseases that affect animals in other parts of the world, it is important to be aware of potential diseases that could impact your animals.

Understand the signs of disease in different types of livestock. At first suspicion of sickness or a disease that concerns you, contact your local vet, contact Agriculture Victoria Animal Health staff or notify Agriculture Victoria on the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline phone number 1800 675 888.

Register or update your Property Identification Code
Apply for or amend a PIC

Victorian law requires people to have a Property Identification Codes (PIC)  for the properties on which they  intend to graze or keep:

  • one or more cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, alpaca, llamas, deer, horses, and/or camels
  • more than 50 poultry (domesticated fowl, chickens, ducks, geese, turkey, guinea fowl, pigeons, quail or pheasants) or 10 emus or 10 ostriches.

Register for a free Property Identification Code (PIC). Make sure you keep your details up-to-date. Update your PIC if you make changes to livestock on your property, change your phone number or email address or sell your land or relocate.

Update the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and PigPass databases regularly
Access the NLIS database

Registration of livestock movements are required by the person receiving the livestock on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database for cattle, sheep and goats and the PigPass database for pigs.

Make a farm biosecurity plan

A farm biosecurity plan is an essential tool for farmers to prevent, eliminate, and minimise biosecurity risks on-farm.

It is recommended that anyone who keeps or owns livestock or operates a cropping or horticulture business, has a biosecurity plan for their property.

Biosecurity Management Plan

New laws have been introduced in Victoria under the Livestock Management Act 2010, enabling livestock producers to protect their property from unlawful trespassers. 

To take advantage of these protections, producers must include a farm map and specific information as part of their farm biosecurity plan, clearly display compliant biosecurity signage and ensure necessary visitor consent procedures are in place.

More details about the requirements of this framework can be found online at:


Screenshot images of Biosecurity Management Plan
Which farm biosecurity plan template is right for me?

A farm biosecurity plan is an important risk management tool. The right plan for you depends on the type and risk profile of your farm business and your particular needs. A number of templates are available, with some examples outlined below.

Animal Health Australia on-farm biosecurity

The Animal Health Australia (AHA) Better On-farm Biosecurity web page includes a video that demonstrates how to complete  a farm biosecurity plan and has a downloadable on-farm biosecurity plan template. You can also access an action planner and other biosecurity essentials.

Beef cattle, sheep and goats: Integrity Systems Company biosecurity plan template

Integrity Systems provides a range of tools and assistance to support compliance with the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program. 

The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the on-farm assurance program that underpins market access for Australian red meat.

The biosecurity section includes information on biosecurity practices and a downloadable template. If you have an LPA account you can also upload the information online.

Dairy: Dairy Australia - emergency animal disease preparedness

The Dairy Australia emergency animal disease preparedness website has several downloadable resources including a farm biosecurity plan template.

Dairy Australia and Agriculture Victoria have worked together to develop a biosecurity tool which assists dairy farmers to create a biosecurity plan tailored to their farm. This tool has been based on Dairy Australia’s Healthy Farms Biosecurity Framework. Farmers can access the biosecurity tool to manage their farm and herd’s risks to 14 separate diseases such as salmonella and Bovine Virus Diarrhoea.

Pigs: Australian Pork Ltd. Biosecurity plan and resources

On Australian Pork biosecurity plan and resources website, you will find tools to help develop biosecurity plans and support implementation of simple, everyday biosecurity practices to protect your herd health.

Resources are available for all levels of pig keeping and production, whether you have one or two pet pigs, a hobby farm, keep pigs for your own consumption or are a small or large commercial operation.

More Information
Additional resources, can be accessed via Agriculture Victoria’s Farm biosecurity plan templates webpage.

In the next two issues of the Backyard Biosecurity, we’ll look at two of the key biosecurity offenders and what you can do about them - weeds and pest animals!

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Agriculture Victoria

Further reading

Contacting Agriculture Victoria

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All contact points can be found at:

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