Northern Australian Biosecurity Surveillance project update

The Northern Australia Biosecurity Surveillance (NABS) project was formed in 2016 with funding from the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. It is a collaboration between the Commonwealth and Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory Departments of Agriculture and Animal Health Australia. Current projects relevant to NT producers include:

Post mortem sample collection kits

  • ll pastoral properties in the NT are being provided with a post-mortem sample collection kit during the annual property visits undertaken by the Livestock Biosecurity team. This kit can be used to collect samples for laboratory diagnosis in the event that livestock get sick or die.
  • 80 kits have so far been distributed to pastoral properties in addition to the vets across the NT
  • if you have not yet received a kit for your pastoral property, contact your regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer.

Figure 4. Map of distributed NABS post mortem sample collection kits (May 2018)

Figure 4. Map of distributed NABS post mortem sample collection kits (May 2018)

Subsidies for disease investigation

  • subsidies of up to $2,000 are available for disease investigations in cattle conducted by private vets until June 2019
  • for disease investigations in horses and other species, subsidies of up to $250 are available
  • remember that $300 is available for cattle showing nervous signs where a post-mortem is performed and the brain collected for “Mad Cow” exclusion testing
  • contact your vet or regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer for more information.

Significant Disease Investigation (SDI) vet network

  • the SDI vet network is a network of private veterinary practices, veterinary laboratories and government veterinarians who work in northern Australia.
  • the network aims to increase the number of investigations, as well as improve sampling and reporting outcomes of SDIs in cattle conducted across the north to benefit producers.
  • the network offers vets access to subsidies to undertake eligible SDIs, post-mortem kits, case assistance and professional development and networking opportunities.
  • the network was launched in February 2018 with the first NABS SDI Masterclass held in Townsville on 23-24 February 2018. The workshop focused on priority animal diseases for northern Australia and investigations of respiratory disease, vesicular disease and skin diseases and was attended by 35 representatives from across private veterinary clinics, veterinary laboratories and government-based animal health surveillance streams in northern Australia.
  • a second NABS Masterclass was held in Alice Springs on 22 March 2018 focusing on reproductive disease and calf loss investigations.

Figure 5. Vets at the NABS SDI Masterclass held in Townsville in 23-24 Feb 2018

Figure 5. Vets at the NABS SDI Masterclass held in Townsville in 23-24 Feb 2018

L to R Front Row: Lee Taylor, Peter Trembath, Jonathon Lee, Nina Kung, Beth Cookson, Lorna Melville, Sue Fitzpatrick, Bill Tranter, Max Woods, Jack Daniels L to R Behind: Ian Braithwaite, Dave Forshaw, Kevin Bell, Peter Lynch, Justin Little, Derek Lunau, Rachael O’Brien, Regan Lynch, Libby Harriman, Lisa Stevenson, Trevor Smith, Graham Mackereth, Ryan Cockrem, Ed Butterworth, Hamish Brett, Tristan Jubb, Ian Langstaff, Peter Letchford, Zane Squarci, Dave Morrell, Brendan Brieffies, Toby Wass

Last updated: 19 September 2019

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