This week, ADF President, Terry Richardson, took part in his first Animal Health Australia
(AHA) industry forum in Canberra.
The meeting was called to discuss a range of topics including the management of the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA), a unique contractual
arrangement between Australia’s governments and industry groups to collectively reduce the risk of disease incursions and manage a response if an outbreak
Based on his first impression, Mr Richardson said the familiarisation and training offered to industry in the event of an outbreak is second to none.
“It is reassuring that as a collective we can come together with a shared goal of enhancing on farm bio-security practices and regulations.
“The degree of expertise and good management of our animal health and welfare issues means we are able to respond to any situation and manage any diseases
to minimise their impact on farmers.
“This high level of preparedness is vital to show just how fast we, as an entire commodities industry, are able to respond to any outbreak should an issue
arise”, said Mr Richardson.
Mr Richardson also took part in training for the National Management Group who have overall management responsibility in the event of an exotic disease
incursion in Australia.
“The spread of the white spot virus in the SE Queensland prawn industry really highlights the threat posed to all agriculture from failing to maintain
Australia’s strict biosecurity defence capabilities.
“It is important that we have adequate resources at the national and state levels, or we risk great (and increasingly) severe consequences.
“A large outbreak such as Foot and Mouth Disease would have significant repercussions and cost our economy up to $16 billion”, Mr Richardson said.
ADF has strong group of staff and farmers who are well prepared to respond to the threat of disease to safeguard the dairy industry and Australia’s reputation
as a producer of safe, clean food.
In addition, resourcing of biosecurity remains a high priority for ADF and all industry bodies including AHA Industry Forum are encouraged to continue
to pressure all governments in recognising this as a priority in the national interest.
Interim ADF Chief Executive Officer