On The Land

4 February, 2023

Biosecurity funding for early detection

FEDERAL funding of $1 million over the next two years will be used to boost the capacity for the early detection of biosecurity threats such as lumpy skin disease and foot-and-mouth disease.

Biosecurity funding for early detection - feature photo

Queensland, in partnership with the Northern Territory and Western Australia, will have even stronger surveillance and preparedness for emergency animal dis-eases with a total of $4.33 million in federal funding.

Northern Australia is at the forefront of biosecurity threats, and on alert following the detection of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease in Indonesia last year.

The north also requires a unique approach to stakeholder engagement given the complex range of livestock industry stakeholders operating in isolated and remote regions.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said Queensland’s share would be $1 million over two years, which would help to maximise resources and enhance the State’s capability.

“We’ll be investing the money to boost early detection capacity with an initial focus on foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease,” he said.

“The funding supports the newly-established Northern Australian Coordination Network, which brings together Queensland, Northern Territory and West-ern Australian governments in partnership with key industries and local communities.

“Queensland’s contribution will be a partnership with the Queensland Government, AgForce, James Cook University and the Federal Government.”

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said while Australia remained free from lumpy skin disease and foot-and-mouth disease, the country must continue to stay alert to the risks.

“Our proximity to Southeast Asia, where these diseases are present, poses an increased risk of an outbreak occurring here, particularly in Northern Australia,” he said.

“The network will support preparedness activities by partnering with industry groups on the ground to maximise available resources, enhance communication and training, and boost our foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease surveillance efforts.”

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the continuation of strong and collaborative work with government and the broader community was critical in providing best protections and outcomes for industry amidst the ongoing biosecurity challenges.

“AgForce welcomes the chance to be a strong ongoing contributor to this work,” he said.


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