Livestock biosecurity given clean bill of health
8 June 2016
Australia's animal health and biosecurity systems scored highly in a recent report by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), reinforcing our reputation as a producer of safe and healthy animals.
The OIE's independent report assessed Australia's Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) and scored 38 of the 47 criteria measured at level five, the highest competency level. The remaining criteria were all assessed at either level three or four.
In the report, the international OIE evaluators recognised the widespread understanding of the importance of biosecurity across Australia.
Dr Charles Milne, Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer, said the OIE is the global body that sets health standards for international trade in animals and animal products.
"More than 130 countries, including many of Australia's major trade competitors, have been assessed by the OIE against the same standards," Dr Milne said.
"The report's findings show how our robust veterinary systems underpin our high animal health status, which in turn reflects the success we have in accessing international markets."
Stuart McLean, livestock producer and Chair of Victoria's Sheep and Goats Identification Advisory Committee said the evaluation results highlight our extraordinary commitment to biosecurity.
"The very high level of biosecurity recognises the collaborative approach to maintaining our animal disease status by building strong collaboration between the states and territories, and with the livestock industry, including primary producers and processors," said Mr McLean.
"Our livestock industries in Victoria generate exports of $6.7 billion a year, so it's essential that we have the best possible biosecurity measures in place to safeguard this vital trade."
"The OIE report states that Australia has excellent identification systems available to trace animal history, location and distribution for the purposes of animal disease control, food safety and trade."
"However, the report also highlights that there is room for improvement in sheep and goat traceability by Australian producers – this could be addressed by increasing the use of electronic identification of sheep and goats."
The full OIE PVS report is available at www.oei.int.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity