Victoria to safeguard livestock industry with $23M investment

To prepare Victoria for any biosecurity risk from Emergency Animal Disease (EAD), the state government is delivering a $23 million package for rapid outbreak response measures.

Funding will reportedly go towards the recruitment of biosecurity experts to undertake key planning, field-based operational roles and provide training to a workforce from across government and industry in the event of an outbreak.

It will also provide tailored industry engagement to build on industries’ ability to manage biosecurity risks and contribute to a response.

The state government will also purchase automated diagnostic equipment that will fast-track foot-and-mouth disease sample testing, enhanced data management systems and essential tools such as livestock scanners and sensors at livestock accumulation points.

Funding will be provided to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to support a response and to reduce environmental risks associated with a possible outbreak.

This work will build on Agriculture Victoria’s nation-leading biosecurity efforts such as the mandatory electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for sheep and goats that supports rapid traceability, which is critical in a livestock biosecurity response.

“This funding is extremely valuable to ensure we are best prepared to respond to an emergency animal outbreak and reduce potential environmental risks,” said Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Lily D’Ambrosio.

This $23 million package builds on the $10 million investment made in August for portable sample testing, mobile incident centres, IT system upgrades, specialist training materials, and the preparedness work of the Emergency Animal Disease Taskforce, which was established by the state government earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Transport association has welcomed the review of a beleaguered project.

In September, Trailer reported it would be a long road ahead for livestock infrastructure and safety reforms.

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