The key to controlling the spread of diseases in NSW is prevention and early action. The isolated nature of Australia means that we are in a unique position to be able to protect and quarantine before some diseases even enter the country.

We also must make a concerted effort to protect NSW from risks that are in Australia, but have not yet entered the state.

Controlling the spread of diseases in our plants and animals protects productivity, profitability as well as protecting the safety of all plants, animals and humans in NSW.

Plant diseases

Protecting NSW from the threat of plant diseases requires ongoing vigilance on behalf of all farmers and landholders. There are very clear regulations that have been put in place to restrict the spread of diseases that even exist in other parts of Australia such as potato cyst nematode or lupin anthracnose.

Always be aware of the regulations surrounding different plant industries, as they adapt to shield the state from spread.

Early detection and constant caution when dealing with your land is recommended. Regularly check your plants for anything unusual and keep up to date with current risks. Adhere to the recommended notion of 'come clean go clean' for vehicle movements, as set out by the Department of Primary Industries.

If you notice anything unusual or are aware of a plant threat, call the Exotic Plant Pest hotline on 1800 084 881.

Animal diseases

One of the biggest risks of animal diseases is zoonoses. These are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans. As many as 75% of new human diseases found are zoonotic, such as anthrax, avian influenza, hendra virus and many more. People should take active steps to reduce the risk of these diseases potentially spreading.There are simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the possibility of getting zoonotic diseases. Information on zoonoses.

Animal diseases can be an ongoing threat to the livestock, productivity and profitability. Farmers and landholders are advised to always act with caution when it comes to any potential risks and notify authorities as soon as possible if a threat is identified.

Handling sick animals and disposing of animal carcasses

Particular care is required when dealing with sick animals though healthy animals can transmit diseases.  Landholders may need to dispose of animal carcasses. General guidelines for disposal. Note that these guidelines are not appropriate for animals that have died of anthrax.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When landholders seek assistance of Local Land Services or DPI staff to investigate animal diseases, the staff will use appropriate personnel protective equipment (PPE) which will vary depending on the nature of the visit. An investigation involving autopsies to determine the cause of death is likely to require a higher degree of PPE. In general, landholders handling carcases for disposal should use similar personnel protective equipment to LLS and DPI staff.

Guidance on PPE requirements.

Following the autopsy, if burying with a tractor with no handling involved, the full PPE is not required. Much of the body fluids will be removed from the bucket as the soil is pushed back over the animal. If the bucket or other parts of the tractor need to be cleaned/disinfected, PPE should be worn as pressure cleaning can create aerosols (air borne particles). If there are concerns about disposal, another option is to leave the carcase. As the carcase rots, microbes will die and get to the point where there is no transmission risk.

Useful resources

Biosecurity, wildlife and feral animals - NSW Department of Primary Industries

Specific information for Graziers - Toolkits, plans and reference manuals for landholders grazing livestock

General Biosecurity advice - General information provided by Animal Health Australia

Notifiable animal diseases in NSW

A number of pests and diseases are notifiable under NSW legislation. This means that there is a legal obligation to notify authorities if you know or suspect that an animal has one of these diseases

Emergency Animal Diseases

More information about how to identify an emergency animal disease and the best action to take

NSW Plant Health Diagnostic Service

This service can help you detect potential plant diseases as early as possible

Quarantine Domestic

This is an up to date guide about quarantine restrictions when travelling interstate