Australia’s policy is to eradicate an emergency animal disease (EAD) in the shortest possible time. It is likely there will be a national livestock standstill for 72 hours while the extent of the disease is determined. When a standstill is called, it is not possible to move any animals that are susceptible to EAD off a property, or receive any of these animals onto a property, unless the animals were already on the road when the standstill was called, or a movement permit has been issued by the relevant state/territory authorities.
In the event of a standstill, state/territory authorities would advise livestock transporters how to manage animals that are on the road when the standstill is issued. Options may include completing their journey, returning to the property of origin, or off-loading them at a designated site.
Susceptible animals on infected properties will be destroyed. Properties within a declared FMD area will be subject to movement controls. Contingency provisions in a farm biosecurity plan should take this into account.
What does an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak this mean for your AgShow?
A national livestock standstill means that you cannot transport or admit animals to the Showgrounds while the standstill remains operative.
If there are animals currently housed at the Showgrounds, they cannot be removed and must remain until the standstill is lifted.
It may be possible for the state or territory authorities to issue a movement permit in exceptional circumstances.
Contingency Plans for your AgShow
If the Showgrounds are declared a EAD infected area, no susceptible animals will be able to be transported to the Showgrounds for any events.
If the Showgrounds is an infected property, susceptible animals on site will be euthanised and the carcases disposed of appropriately.
If the Showgrounds is subject to a livestock standstill within a declared EAD area, any susceptible animals on the property will need to be safely housed and maintained until animal movements are allowed.
What can you do to reduce risk of an EAD incursion?
Regular revision of your property biosecurity plan is a necessary part of responsible farm management.
A suggested guide for a Show and Event Biosecurity Plan is available in the resources section of ASA’s website along with Animal Health Australia’s published Livestock Biosecurity at Events guidelines which provides basic advice for event holders and exhibitors.
Early detection of the EAD is a key element of the national response. Staff training in disease recognition underpins this.
Calling the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 888) and your herd veterinarian are the first steps in the disease response.
How is an outbreak of EAD managed?
The management of a number of different EADS including FMD, LSD and ASF are fully documented in the in the manuals of Australia’s veterinary emergency plan (AUSVETPLAN). This contains the nationally agreed approach for the response to an FMD outbreak, for example.
Is compensation available?
Producers are fully compensated for animals destroyed as part of the disease response.
More available here – A quick guide to compensation and valuation in an EAD response – Animal Health Australia
Contact details are essential
It is important that your state body has current contact details for Agricultural Society Members to ensure messages about emergency diseases reach the right people. If you haven't updated your details with your State Agricultural Society recently, please do so.
You can also subscribe to AHAs Animal Disease Alerts at: https://animalhealthaustralia.com.au/subscribe-to-our-animal-disease-alerts/