Skip to main content

Farmer-led Surveillance

Partnerships are essential for effective surveillance systems. All livestock value chain participants including producers, transporters, rural service suppliers, abattoirs, veterinarians and diagnosticians have a role to play in disease recognition, reporting and response.

The Farmer-led surveillance systems project will seek the participation of Australian producers in a pilot program demonstrating the value of farmer-led partnerships for improving livestock surveillance at the farm level, for endemic and emergency animal diseases.

The rural community plays a vital role in livestock surveillance and goat, pig, cattle and sheep producers across the country are invited to take part in this project.

Project team:

Dr Yiheyis Taddele Maru
Subproject leader

AProf Marta Hernandez-Jover
Charles Sturt University
Veterinary Epidemiologist

Dr Yiheyis Maru is a senior systems research scientist, who has worked for CSIRO since 2002. He is a veterinarian who led and organised surveillance and vaccination programs for Rinderpest, a disease of cattle which was eradicated from the world in 2011. Yiheyis has an interest in understanding social, economic and environmental factors for improving livelihoods of rural communities. He has done research on the importance of social networks on the resilience of pastoralists in central Australia, and on the role of social factors on the transmission of African swine fever in east Africa. He leads the subproject on improving surveillance through farmer-led partnership as part of this RnD4Profit project.

Dr Marta Hernandez-Jover is an Associate Professor in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health at the School of Animal and Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga. Her main interests and current research focus on biosecurity risks and risk analysis methods applied to infectious animal diseases and public health. Marta graduated in 2000 from the Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona in Spain, where she also completed her PhD on livestock traceability in 2006. In 2006, Marta joined the University of Sydney as an Epidemiology research fellow working on traceability, biosecurity, disease surveillance and risk analysis. Marta started at the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at CSU in 2012, where she teaches epidemiology, public health and food safety to veterinary students. She has led and contributed to research on biosecurity and disease surveillance among livestock producers in Australia, investigating implementation of and drivers for engagement with biosecurity and animal health management practices. Currently she is the Leader of the Livestock Systems Research Pathway of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation and the Higher Degree by Research coordinator of the School of Animal and Veterinary Science. Since completing her PhD, Professor Hernandez-Jover has published over 45 research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.