Sub-project 2 – December 2018

February 18th, 2019

Data collection: The livestock producer surveys are officially closed. A huge thank you to the approximately 1000 producers that gave their time and expert knowledge to help us with this part of the project. Congratulations to the winners of the retail vouchers, drawn randomly from those that entered the final draw.

Typology preliminary findings:Most sheep and beef producers participating in the study are from Victoria and New South Wales and have over 20 years of farming experience. Participating goat producers are mainly from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and the years of experience is very diverse, from less than 5 years to over 20 years of experience. Analysis of the data will continue next year.

Pilot networks:

  • The sheep pilot group are working hard on their action plan, including exploring options for better feedback systems to producers from abattoirs and gathering information about how the National Significant Disease Investigation Program might fit into Esperance producers’ management of their animals. There is also work underway to improve general awareness by producers and the community as a whole about emergency animal diseases, what to look for and what to do if you find something suspicious. The next meeting will be held in Esperance in Feb 2019.
  • The beef pilot group met for the second time on 15 November in Durong, Queensland to progress discussions on a framework for enhanced surveillance and biosecurity practices on their farms. The group, which includes beef producers, local vets and state government representatives also agreed to trial an exciting new training program which is being developed by the Qld government in partnership with private vets to improve producers’ awareness and practical skills in the detection of signs and symptoms of both endemic and exotic diseases of concern.
  • The dairy pilot group have established a working group of members to fine tune the direction of approaches to improving local awareness around emergency animal disease preparedness for all farm sizes.
  • The pork pilot group held an initial meeting on Wednesday 17 October in Hagley, Tasmania. A Herd Health Workshop, requested by the pilot group and run by a specialist pig veterinarian, was conducted on 13 November 2018. The next meeting is planned for February 2019.
  • The goat pilot group met for their information meeting in Murray Bridge, SA in December with a great deal of interest from industry, government and producers. At the end of the meeting, there was a general feeling of excitement and interest around what the group could achieve collectively over the course of the project. The group agreed that the project was a great opportunity to create stronger connections across the goat industry and to work together to address issues, starting with surveillance.

Team training and presentations:

The research team is taking every opportunity to talk about the project. Most recently, all four FMD Ready sub-projects came together to examine current progress, discuss successes and challenges and share learnings. It was a good opportunity to consider all that has been achieved, before our heads go back down again for the second half of the project.