Sub-project 2 – August 2021

August 26th, 2021

Highlights from pilot groups

The sub-project local innovation pilot groups, targeting livestock industries susceptible to FMD in different states across Australia between 2018 and 2020.  The aim of the pilot groups was to build trust through partnership that address barriers to improved animal health surveillance. At the completion of the pilots, each group had developed new fit-for-purpose, tailored surveillance guides and media articles on the impact of potential introduction of EADs and the need to improve on-farm biosecurity and surveillance.  Examples include:

  1. A biosecurity and surveillance Chain of Response (CoR) developed by the Beef Innovation Pilot group for Queensland farmers. A national version has been developed for farmers across the country. This product provides easy and accessible step-by-step guide for farmers to follow when they face an animal health incident. This product is now supported by the Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer and distributed to 116 farmers. New South Wales and Tasmania Chief Veterinary Officers has expressed their interest for having the product for distribution to their state livestock farmers.
  2. LIVE (Look, Investigate, Verify and Evaluate) developed by the Sheep innovation pilot group is a simple surveillance guide consistent with official requirements. The aim of the guide is to have a simple accessible reminder to farmers on the importance of regularly checking their animals and immediately reporting unusual signs of disease for investigation. This guide was published in an ASHEEP Group Newsletter – see page 3.
  3. My pig is sick – what should I do? initiated by Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, in the context of threats of African Swine fever, the pork innovation pilot group provided critical input to make it relevant and accessible to farmers. This resource has been distributed through a small Farm Living Field Day in October 2019 and thorough the Pork Innovation Pilot Group Network Facebook group.
  4. National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) flyers – developed by both the Sheep and Dairy innovation pilot groups. These simple and easy to follow flyers, tailored to smallholder farmers, cover the processes to comply with NLIS requirements.  The NLIS flyer from the Sheep Pilot group was distributed in collaboration with the ASHEEP group while the version from the Dairy Pilot group is distributed in collaboration with the Maffra Local Council.
  5. Goat Diseases – The Farmers’ Guide. This guide is being finalised based on an existing Sheep Diseases – The Farmers’ guide. Initiated by the innovation pilot group and developed in collaboration with MLA, this product will inform goat farmers to report when they encounter unusual signs and implement good biosecurity practices.
  6. New communication materials and signage developed to build producer awareness on key animal health and biosecurity issues. These include a media campaign in the GippsDairy publication, initiated and developed by the Dairy innovation pilot group and in the ASHEEP website and biosecurity signage in roads, initiated and developed by the Sheep innovation pilot group. Other examples include a flyer for producers to help improve awareness about FMD risks associated with seasonal workers and connected with emerging ecotourism industry in the area.


Stakeholder engagement highlights

Sub-project 2  (SP2) research team was invited to a national Transformational Change to Surveillance workshop in June 2020 and contributed to the recognition and inclusion of ‘bottom-up’ and partnership approaches in the 2021-2024 National Animal Health Surveillance Business plan.


M&E highlights

An end of sub-project evaluation survey with producers highlighted the following changes:

  • an increase in the level of trust among other farmers, local government veterinarian, government health officers and private veterinarians as a source of animal health advice (between 33-45% of survey participants reported an increase of somewhat to a lot)
  • an increase in their animal health surveillance and biosecurity practices conducted as a result of their participation in the innovation pilot groups (approximately half of the survey participants)
  • the likelihood of producers reporting to private and government veterinarians and other government health officers has also substantially improved



Subproject 2 team work was featured through two articles in MLA Feedback Magazine March/April 2021 Edition.

  • FMD provides model for disease surveillance – based on an interview with Erica Ayers An Innovation Pilot Group member perspective on the partnership pilot work Cover Story page 29
  • Industry teams up to fight disease – based on an interview with Yiheyis Maru – Subproject 2 research leader perspective on the partnership pilot work Page 28


New communication tools

In consultation with stakeholders the sub-project has developed a visualisation of the Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) approach to explain the approach of the sub-project.

View publications and conference proceedings here.