21 May 2021

South Australia is better prepared for a possible emergency animal disease outbreak with more than 50 livestock industry representatives now trained under a national Animal Health Australia program.

The livestock industry liaison training increases effective communication between the State Government and local industry in the event of an animal disease outbreak.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said 54 industry representatives are now trained and ready to act as an industry liaison during an outbreak.

“Our $4.5 billion livestock industry is vitally important to the state’s economy and should an emergency animal disease outbreak such as foot and mouth disease ever occur it could have devastating impacts,” Minister Basham said.

“If we have a new animal disease outbreak, it is really important that affected industries are represented around the decision-making table and able to communicate what is happening to industry quickly.

“If an outbreak occurs, the best chance we have of eradicating it is to act swiftly and have clear communication between government and affected industries.

“That is why we are making sure our livestock industry associations are as prepared as they can possibly be.

“I hope we never have to call on these industry representatives, but we have to be prepared.

“This training provides industry an opportunity to understand how the Livestock Industry Liaison role operates within an outbreak and how their input can ensure a successful outcome.”

One of the recent South Australian trainees in the program, Biosecurity Extension Officer at Livestock SA, Penelope Keynes said in an outbreak situation it was important to have people on the ground.

“Any disease outbreak requires knowledgeable industry members to be a conduit between industry and the response efforts, this role enables this to hopefully increase efficiencies and improve the outcomes of an EAD,” she said.

“All aspects of the livestock industry need to be prepared for an outbreak and let hope it never eventuates, but then we never thought COVID would happen so now is a good time to think about what we need to do to be prepared.”

For more information about preparing for Emergency Animal Disease visit www.pir.sa.gov.au

The Biosecurity Extension Officer at Livestock SA is funded under the Marshall Liberal Government’s $7.5 million Red Meat and Wool Growth Program.

View the media release from the Premier of South Australia's website.