The Palaszczuk Government has activated added protection against the biosecurity risks posed by unauthorised entry onto farms.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said people going onto a farming operation must now comply with the property’s biosecurity management plan when they enter or leave, and while they are on the property.
“We have amended the regulations under the Biosecurity Act to allow Queensland Police Service and biosecurity officers to immediately fine people who put on-farm biosecurity at risk,” Mr Furner said.
“This is a direct response to the increase in incidents of unauthorised entry by animal activists to places where animals are kept.
“Unauthorised entry to places where animals are kept can pose biosecurity risks including potential spread of diseases between humans and animals causing production losses that impact the business, supply chain and ultimately consumers.
“People who behave this way now face fines of $652.75, either issued on the spot or later after further evidence is gathered.
“The gross value of production at the farm gate for livestock and livestock products for 2017-18 was around $6.784 billion, including cattle and calves, poultry, pigs, eggs and milk.
Mr Furner said the potential biosecurity harm caused by a person carrying or spreading a disease while entering, leaving or at a livestock production premises could be catastrophic to Queensland industry and regional communities.
To support enforcement of property biosecurity arrangements under this regulation, livestock producers and others who keep animals are encouraged to:
- Ensure they are registered as a biosecurity entity with Biosecurity Queensland
- Have an up-to-date biosecurity management plan in place, and
- have appropriate clear signage at the entry points to their property.
The amendments to the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 and the State Penalties Enforcements Regulation 2014 come into effect on 26 April.
“The Queensland Government has responded quickly with this interim measure and will be exploring longer term changes to the Biosecurity Act 2014 to strengthen property biosecurity even further,” Mr Furner said.