Cattle Council is urging the Federal Government to make sure the new Exotic Animal Disease Preparedness Taskforce takes active steps to reduce the risk of animal diseases before they happen.

This is an unprecedented taskforce, bringing together the expertise of the agriculture department, Emergency Management Australia, Border Force, Defence and Animal Health Australia.

Cattle Council President, Lloyd Hick said Cattle Council was prepared to work with the taskforce to help ensure it can succeed.

“This taskforce must be proactive, not reactive,” Mr Hick said

“We want to see this taskforce bring about real, tangible action.

“We’re pleased to see these agencies come together for the good of the livestock sector and the nation.

“CCA would like to see the group implement preparedness actions including early detection capacity and swift response strategies.

“We need a capacity to properly assess all the risks and prioritise our resources, so we have the most effective response.

“We also want this group to take proactive steps that would prevent the spread of disease.

“This includes controlling feral buffalos, cattle and pigs in national parks, on military land and other government land.

“This would be a practical measure that would protect neighbouring producers and manage risk.

“There is no way to effectively control exotic disease incursions without first controlling feral animals that plague our public land.

“Now is the time to commit Government resources to control feral animals, particularly in northern Australia.

“Every landholder has a responsibility to do what they can to reduce the risks of a biosecurity incursion, and this includes government land.

“We are pleased the Federal Government is continuing to closely monitor our biggest biosecurity threats and respond accordingly.

“We expect to see the response increase as the threat of a biosecurity incursion increases.”

More information: www.cattlecouncil.com.au/fmd