What schools must do to reduce and manage biosecurity risks.
Schools have many students and staff entering and leaving the site daily. This increases the risk of plant and animal pests and diseases being spread. Schools have a responsibility to manage this risk.
Recently Australia has experienced an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis and there are several diseases others that are currently on our doorstep. It is important that these diseases are kept out and schools play their part to combat any spread of disease.
The Australian government website Animal pests and diseases provides authoritative information on exotic diseases.
What schools must do
- Have a current Biosecurity plan and share it with the staff
- Know who your vet is and their contact details
- Ensure your sheep, cattle and goats are NLIS tagged and your transfers are up to date on the NLIS database
- Never feed food scraps to pigs or ruminant animals and control the community’s ability to feed your animals
- Be vigilant and know what the signs of disease are
- Make the following details readily accessible to the Principal, Head Teacher, Farm Assistant and any other relevant staff;
- The Exotic Animal Disease Watch Hotline number - 1 800 675 888
- PIC, address and road access details for the school farm
- Contact telephone numbers of the relevant school staff
- Name and contact details for your vet.
There are two biosecurity plan templates that have been designed for schools to use. You can adapt them to your situation.
Template A (DOCX 65.87KB) is intended for use by schools that have minimal plant and animal production and do not require a Property Identification Code (PIC). A PIC is required if you have any of the following on the school property: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids, equines or over 99 small poultry or 9 large poultry (Emus or Ostriches).
Template B (DOCX 71.61KB) is intended for use by schools that are teaching agriculture and require a PIC. A biosecurity plan is required to maintain Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accreditation.
Schools wishing to maintain a Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) of 7 or 8 must have their biosecurity plan signed by a veterinarian.
A parent letter (DOCX 43.75KB) is also included for those schools wishing to involve the whole school community in their biosecurity plan.
These templates have been developed in consultation with the Department of Primary Industries and agriculture teachers using resources from the farm biosecurity website, the LPA On-Farm Biosecurity Plan template (PDF167KB), and Department of Primary Industries.
What to do if you are concerned about the health of your stock
If you are concerned, call your vet and the Hotline - 1 800 675 888;
- provide your property details
- describe the animals and any disease signs
- stop all movement onto and off the farm
- wait for instructions from the Quarantine staff.