Practical biosecurity steps on your farm

Foot-and-mouth disease

Strong biosecurity practices on your property are crucial to protecting your animals, as well as the safety of our food and agricultural industries, from pests and diseases.

Take these steps on-farm for high standard biosecurity:

  • Ensure your Property Identification Code (PIC) details are up-to-date, and ensure timely uploads of livestock movements on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database. PICs are free and easy to get or update on the Agriculture Victoria website.
  • Do not permit visitors onto your farm if they have been in a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) infected country within 7 days.
  • Have a farm biosecurity plan that includes a farm biosecurity map and a BMP coversheet (WORD - 36.4 KB) . A farm biosecurity plan should promote good hygiene practices and control the movement of livestock, people and equipment onto your property. A BMP coversheet includes mandatory content and a map that outlines the property’s boundaries and biosecurity management areas. This information, along with compliant biosecurity signage, is required under the Livestock Management Act 2010, to enforce prosecution in the event of illegal trespass or non-compliance with the farm’s biosecurity protocols. Find farm biosecurity plan and BMP coversheet templates at Farm biosecurity plan templates.
  • Make sure you document all vehicle movements onto your property, such as fodder deliveries and milk pick-ups, agricultural contractors and, most importantly, if you see anything unusual report it.
  • Limit the access visitors or contractors have to your livestock or livestock holding areas and ensure everyone arrives with clean footwear and clothing.
  • Use biosecurity signage at all vehicle and pedestrian access points that clearly outline all visitor obligations. Sign templates can be downloaded from Changes to the Livestock Management Act 2010. Existing biosecurity signs may be modified to include the required information via the application of a robust (e.g. vinyl) sticker.
  • Have facilities and equipment in place for washing and disinfecting shoes and clothing and any other equipment and vehicles that enter your property.
  • 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.
  • Keep up-to-date and timely records of your livestock movements on and off your property.
  • 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 integrating with your existing flock or herd. Always continually monitor the health of your herd or flock.
  • 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.
  • 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 or notify Agriculture Victoria on the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline phone number 1800 675 888
  • FMD is a notifiable exotic disease and any suspected cases must be reported to Agriculture Victoria immediately.
  • Regularly update your biosecurity plan. For more information on creating a biosecurity plan for your farm, including a plan template, visit Farm biosecurity plan templates.
  • To learn more about foot-and-mouth disease, and any changes to this advice, please visit the Foot-and-mouth disease page.

Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline

Understand the signs of disease in different types of livestock. At first suspicion of disease, notify Agriculture Victoria immediately on the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888 or contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria Animal Health and Welfare staff.

Page last updated: 03 Aug 2022