The South West will be better prepared to manage significant animal biosecurity threats, such as African swine fever (ASF), through a new comprehensive online field guide of emergency animal diseases targeting all vets.
Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the guide would help prepare and inform local vets about exotic diseases affecting livestock.
“Our vets are a critical part of our strong biosecurity system,” Mrs Marino said.
“This guide is about protecting the health of our local livestock, the livelihoods of our community, and the Australian agricultural sector as a whole.
Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said the guide would help identify some of the most dangerous diseases currently threatening the Australian agricultural sector.
“ASF and Foot and Mouth Disease could wipe out industries, jobs, impact on trade and the availability of the Australian produce we all enjoy, so we need to be as prepared as possible because the threat is real,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Early identification and reporting is critical to minimise the devastating impact that these diseases can pose for our animals, industries, jobs and environment.
“The disease list included in the guide will be reviewed and updated to address emerging threats so we are best placed to manage them as they arise.
“We have some of the best vets in the world and this gives them another tool to improve the work they do in protecting Australia from deadly animal diseases.”
The guide is in addition to a range of measures in place to better manage animal biosecurity threats. This includes increased intervention measures at our borders, testing of intercepted meat produce for ASF and FMD, as well as stronger enforcement approaches for biosecurity breaches relating to meat products.
The field guide was produced by the Department of Agriculture and Australia’s Animal Health Laboratory. The 270 page resource is available online at www.outbreak.gov.au/for-vets-and-scientists/emergency-animal-diseases-guide.