The Queensland Government will spend $7 million on recruiting and training ten new biosecurity officers to help against the outbreak of Foot and Mouth (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Diseases (LSD).

The new biosecurity officers are part of a more than $20 million package of initiatives to deal with the new threats.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this will be supported by an ongoing annual investment of almost $2.5 million to boost Queensland’s existing capacity to address increasing biosecurity risks.

“We are stepping up our programs to strengthen years of preparation and prevention measures designed to protect the state’s cattle, sheep, goat, and pork industries.”

With Queensland a major player in Australia’s cattle industry, home to a significant proportion of the nation’s herd, a large outbreak of FMD alone could cost the national economy $80 billion over 10 years.

“Our Livestock industries are an essential part of the Queensland economy and represent thousands of good jobs in every region of this state.

“And primary producers are fighting to protect every single one of those jobs and my government is behind them 100 per cent.”

The recent outbreaks of FMD and LSD in Indonesia have put Australian farmers and Governments on full biosecurity alert.

Mark Furner, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, said the investments in biosecurity are absolutely vital to protecting the state’s industries.

“Queensland and Australia remain free of Foot and Mouth and Lumpy Skin Diseases, and we want to keep it that way.

“The current outbreaks in Indonesia are causing considerable concern, but industry groups are telling us they have confidence in their biosecurity measures.”

The new measures to bolster Queensland’s biosecurity defences includes:

  • Increased support for our emergency animal disease preparedness team;
  • Providing communications, engagement and training support to industry to ensure uptake of preparedness strategies;
  • Further detailed mapping key supply chains; and
  • Boosting Queensland’s coordinated feral pig control capability.

Furner said although Australia remains free of diseases like FMD, LSD, and African Swine Fever, there is no room for complacency.

“While our ongoing investment in emergency animal disease preparedness positions us to effectively deal with any outbreaks, I encourage livestock owners to be prepared, vigilant and on the lookout for LSD, FMD, and ASF and ramp up their biosecurity practices.”

Furner suggest that livestock owners visit, to ensure the best on-farm biosecurity practices are being utilised.

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