Farmers across Victoria will benefit from a series of free online learning modules, helping them protect their animals from diseases and biosecurity threats.
Agriculture Victoria Animal Disease Program Coordinator, Scott McDonald, said this high-value training will better equip farmers, livestock producers, small landholders, industry workers and farm visitors with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure a safe and disease-free environment for livestock.
“These in-demand online modules explore the impacts that emergency animal diseases would have on our farming industry and how the risks can be reduced,” he said.
“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility and implementing good practices on your property and ensuring visitors follow those practices is key to preventing serious consequences for our animals, trade and economy.
“We hope to give farmers confidence and assurance that they are doing everything necessary and required to protect their animals, our state and country from serious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.”
Available through Agriculture Victoria’s website, the three learning modules have been released: foot and mouth disease awareness, lumpy skin disease awareness and Come clean, stay clean, go clean – when visiting farms. Each module should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease are not currently present in Australia, however there are emerging threats with outbreaks in neighbouring countries.
Modelling by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in 2013 reported a large multi-state outbreak of FMD could cost Australia $80 billion over 10 years.
“Foot-and-mouth disease is considered one of Australia’s greatest biosecurity risks, so it is vital livestock owners or people working with livestock take the appropriate biosecurity actions now,” Mr McDonald said.
“Our agricultural sector is stronger than ever and we would like to keep it that way, so we encourage everyone to jump online and complete the series of useful learning modules.”