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Protecting your family, your farm and your future

With changes in NSW biosecurity legislation on the horizon farmers are urged to make a Farm Biosecurity Plan a priority to protect their family, their farming business and their future.

“A detailed Farm Biosecurity Plan will also help protect your markets and your local community, and we can help farmers work through the planning process,” said Steve Eastwood, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services District Vet.

“Biosecurity is about protecting the economy, environment and community form the negative impacts of pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants. Changes to legislation, due to be implemented in mid-2017, will require all farmers to meet a general biosecurity duty.” [i]

“Having a biosecurity plan in operation as part of your farm business is a good way to demonstrate that you are meeting that implied duty,” said Steve.

Farmer and meat exporter, Andrew Carruthers from AD Commodities, worked with Northern Tablelands Local Land Services to organise a Biosecurity Planning Workshop in Armidale recently to discuss the anticipated changes in biosecurity legislation.

“Now is the time to get on the front foot, ring up your District Vet, and start talking about the new requirements,” said Andrew.

“We have a meat export business and our interactions with trading partners have amplified for us the importance of biosecurity planning and the need to have a clear road map ready to respond in the event that a biosecurity breach does take place.”

Andrew Carruthers advises fellow farmers to take advantage of the help Local Land Services can provide to farmers who are looking to implement or upgrade a farm biosecurity plan.

“Local Land Services has been brilliant to work with and our District Vets are excellent. They have a wealth of knowledge and they are always willing to help farmers if they need some advice on how to get on top of the legislative changes that are coming into place,” said Andrew.

The Local Land Services team can guide landholders through the preparation of biosecurity measures to prevent problems occurring, and help them understand what their general biosecurity duty is and how to meet it, while also planning effective strategies for dealing with pest and disease outbreaks that could threaten Australia’s economy or the environment.

“However having a plan isn’t much good if it’s then just filed away in a drawer,” said District Vet Steve Eastwood. “You need to make it a working document that is practical and user friendly.”

“Local Land Services can work with landholders to implement simple procedures that are tailored to their particular business,” said Steve.

For more information about preparing a Biosecurity Plan for your farm contact Steve Eastwood at Northern Tablelands Local Land Services on 02 6770 2000.

Media contact:  Annabelle Monie 0429 626 326

[i] According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, “the General Biosecurity Duty (GDB) provides that any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier, and who knows (or ought reasonably to know) of the biosecurity risk posed (or likely to be posed), has a biosecurity duty to ensure that the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised - so far as is reasonably practicable.”