Biosecurity: Livestock

Tabled: 19 August 2015

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources’ (DEDJTR) responses to recent livestock disease events—including a suspected case of foot-and-mouth disease in 2015, a sporadic case of anthrax in 2015, and an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza in 2012—have been successful. However, these recent events have been small in scale and have not fully tested the capability and capacity of Victoria’s livestock biosecurity system.

DEDJTR’s capacity to effectively detect, prepare for and respond to an emergency livestock disease outbreak has been weakened by a decline in financial and staff resourcing for core biosecurity functions. This has resulted in a significant drop in surveillance coverage and the increased likelihood of a major disease outbreak going undetected until it has become established. This would increase the scale and complexity of an emergency response. The potentially severe economic and health impacts of such an outbreak in Victoria highlight the urgent need to address this risk.

To DEDJTR’s credit, it has developed plans and commenced work within its own resourcing levels to enhance its livestock disease preparedness. However, these initiatives are incapable of restoring the diminished capacity of Victoria’s livestock biosecurity system.

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Audit team

Dallas Mischkulnig

Engagement Leader

Chris Badelow
Team Leader

Andy Jin
Susan Stevens

Analysts
Engagement Quality Control Reviewer

Steven Vlahos

 

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Last updated on 11/20/2015