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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2008
page 25 C aTTL e COUNCIL OF a USTR a LI a Y ea RBOOK 2008 aNIMaL WeLFaRe after a long, time-consuming process, the Land Transport Standards and guidelines will, along with the Regulatory Impact Statement, be going out for three months public consultation. Two areas that will attract submissions are water deprivation times and loading densities. These Standards and guidelines will replace the old Transport Codes with the Standards being legislated in each State and Territory. It is intended that this will be harmonised legislation to avoid conflict between States/Territories legislation. RSpCa announced a campaign against long distance transport by ship and land with the former for sheep being their main target. This campaign is being carried out under the banner of WSpa – the World Society for the protection of animals. eQUINe INFLUeNza (eI) The incursion of this horse disease in mid to late august 2007 will lead to changes in australia’s exotic disease preparedness. as I write it is expected that australia is most likely to be declared free of the disease by 30 June 2008. It is fair to say that eI has been the wake-up call for australia in exotic disease preparedness. You can have many exercises but there is nothing like the real thing to highlight shortfalls in the system. To me there are two particular areas that need to be addressed. The first is stock standstill. There needs to be more planning and groundwork done to ensure that a stock standstill is effective. The second is the run down of resources in the States and Territories. It is frightening that State and Territory governments will not get the industry message that in an exotic disease incursion you need sufficient trained people on the ground, and laboratories need sufficient people and resources to handle testing. If we were more than stretched with eI, it would be almost impossible to handle a foot-and-mouth disease incursion. aNTHRax In December 2007 anthrax was confirmed on a number of farms in the Scone District of New South Wales. Quarantine measures were introduced and vaccination occurred on affected and neighbouring farms. The disease peaked at Christmas and the last reported death was on 2 January 2008. a total of 50 animals died from anthrax and 11 properties were quarantined. a further anthrax case was reported near Narrandera on 27 December. Ten cattle died out of a mob of 420. There were 2,000 head on the property. No movements have occurred and all the remaining animals were vaccinated. a bull died suddenly on a property at Stanhope in victoria. Initial tests indicated the animal died from anthrax. The farm is in the “anthrax area”. Cattle on the farm were re-vaccinated in November 2007. Investigations are continuing. SURveILLaNCe Two new Reference groups have been implemented by animal Health australia – 1) National animal Health Surveillance Strategy group and 2) exotic animal Disease Reference group. It is expected that both Reference groups will enhance surveillance and exotic animal disease preparedness. Both are essential to the future of the australian Beef Cattle industry. BIOSeCURITY On farm biosecurity is one of those essential elements in protecting the future of our industry. The exotic animal Disease Response agreement (eaDRa) requires that all signatories to the agreement have a Biosecurity plan. This applies to the Commonwealth, the States/NT and all the commodities, including cattle. The cattle industry has had a simple, efficient Cattle Industry Biosecurity plan. Biosecurity is being considered as a further element of Lpa, in order that there is some random auditing which will meet the eaDRa requirement. animal Health Update and Outlook John Stewart AM, Cattle Council Animal Health and Welfare Consultant