The Framework Explained - The importance of biosecurity

The Framework Explained - The importance of biosecurity

May 24 2022
  • Biosecurity is one of the priorities of the ABSF 
  • In its 2021 Annual Update, the ABSF reported 91 per cent of Australian cattle producers under the Livestock Production Assurance Program (LPA) were covered by a documented biosecurity plan 
  • COVID-19, Japanese encephalitis and foot and mouth disease have highlighted how important security is to the sustainability of the Australian beef industry.

Managing the risk of infection disease, invasive pests or weeds to safeguard the industry, environment and people is one of the priorities of the ABSF. 

Japanese encephalitis and the new, imminent threat of foot and mouth disease (FMD) following its diagnosis in Indonesia has reinforced the critical importance of biosecurity to the sustainability of the beef industry. 

The Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN)1 is Australia’s nationally agreed approach for responding to emergency animal diseases of national significance, such as FMD, if an incursion in Australia occurs. Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates government, scientific and industry representatives to regularly review the various AUSVETPLAN manuals, and the response strategy for FMD is currently under review. Veterinary, market and beef producer inputs are essential to ensure the robustness of this process. 

The Australian Meat Industry Council identified both traceability and biosecurity as key areas of focus and developed an Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) and Biosecurity Strategy for the Australian red meat processing sector at the end of 2021. 

On an individual property basis, the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring animals through the value chain.  

To meet the requirements of LPA, each Property Identification Code (PIC) must have a formal, documented Farm Biosecurity Plan that addresses each of the following: 


  1. Manage and record the introduction and movement of livestock in a way that minimises the risk of introducing and/or spreading infectious diseases. 
  2. Where reasonable and practical, control people, equipment and vehicles entering the property, thus minimising the potential for property contamination and, if possible, keep a record of such movements. 
  3. Prevent and control animal diseases on-farm by regularly monitoring and management livestock. 

 Last year, the ABSF reported 91 per cent of Australian cattle properties under the LPA program were covered by a documented biosecurity plan in 2020.  

The heightened spread of animal disease around the world, and significant market access implications, highlights the importance of robust biosecurity measures and livestock traceability systems. Ongoing and coordinated Australian industry and government vigilance will be critical to alleviating Non-Tariff Barriers, sustaining trade flows, optimising animal wellbeing and remaining internationally competitive.

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Jacob Betros