Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

A description of biosecurity practices among selected dairy farmers across Australia

Aleri, J.W. and Laurence, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-1215-2848 (2020) A description of biosecurity practices among selected dairy farmers across Australia. Animal Production Science .

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1071/AN19340
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

Aims: The study investigated critical biosecurity control points and dairy farmers’ motivations towards biosecurity practices among selected dairy farmers across Australia.

Methods: A questionnaire template was administered via an online survey. A three-stage process was used to develop the questionnaire by pooling of potential questions, selection and reduction of the questions to fit an 8–10 min survey.

Key results: A total of 55 responses were obtained. Mixed species rearing was practiced on 69% of the farms, with a majority keeping either sheep or beef cattle within the same property as dairy cattle. Approximately half of the farms (49%) did not provide formal training to new staff on aspects of animal health, as well as not conducting bull breeding soundness. Most of the farms (98%) required staff to use personal protective equipment, such as overalls and gumboots, but only a few of the farms (34%) had designated areas to clean footwear and a system for recording visitors (17%). Record keeping pertaining to animal health, maintenance of good fences and use of vendor declaration forms was practiced in a majority of the farms. The practice of quarantining new stock before mixing with other stock was practiced in only 45% of the farms. Monthly herd health visits by a veterinarian were utilised by 55% of the farms. Multivariable analysis showed positive significant associations between mixed species rearing with the practice of regular pest control (P = 0.004) and use of footbaths (P = 0.024) and no biosecurity plan (P = 0.025). Furthermore, a positive significant association was also recorded on the presence of a biosecurity plan and the presence of a designated area to clean footwear (P = 0.002) and no regular deworming (P = 0.024). Animal and human health reasons were the main motivators for implementing and maintaining ‘best practice’ biosecurity practices, whereas government regulation was the lowest motivator.

Conclusions: It is concluded that the biosecurity practices were variable, and animal and human health reasons were the primary motivators for instituting biosecurity practices.

Implications: There is a need to continue educating farmers on the importance of biosecurity practices.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2020 CSIRO
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/56245
Item Control Page Item Control Page