Biosecurity dairy tool to help build skills

Biosecurity dairy tool to help build skills

Dairy
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AN ONLINE tool will be able to help dairyfarmers to build skills and adapt management to biosecurity risks.

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AN ONLINE tool will be able to help dairyfarmers to build skills and adapt management to biosecurity risks.

Developed as part of an industry collaboration between Dairy Australia and Agriculture Vic, the biosecurity tool enables dairyfarmers to create a biosecurity plan tailored to their farm, based on Dairy Australia's Healthy Farms Biosecurity Framework.

Dairy Australia technical and innovation manager John Penry said it was important for all farms to have a biosecurity plan to manage disease risk.

"It's crucial for dairyfarmers to maintain a biosecurity plan tailored to their herd and farming system," Dr Penry said.

"An outbreak of the diseases identified by the biosecurity tool could create significant and measurable losses in farm performance or the wider dairy industry.

"The biosecurity tool allows dairyfarmers to manage their risks around 14 separate diseases such as salmonella and BVD."

For each disease, dairyfarmers can identify control measures under the seven categories of stock movements, herd health, farm inputs, visitors, effluent and waste, neighbours and dead animals.

Agriculture Vic development specialist Sarah Chaplin said the new online tool will help farmers understand how to manage their own biosecurity risks.

"The control measures offered by the tool for each disease are evidence-based, based on the level of risk that you have chosen," Dr Chaplin said.

"Users decide what level of control they want to apply to different diseases with the tool's risk matrix. It's still subjective - it's up to the farmer to decide whether they consider the consequences minor, moderate or severe.

"Once the farm's specific animal health risks are identified, scientifically valid control measures are suggested."

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Vigilance needed to keep disease at bay

Focused control measures have a better cost benefit ratio than blanket application of all possible control measures.

A delivery approach will be piloted in Vic, along with regionally-based workshops before a national roll out of the biosecurity tool.

Dairyfarmers can access the biosecurity tool at biosecurity.dairyaustralia.com.au - and farmers already using DairyBase can use their existing login details.

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