Sunday 24th Jun, 2018

Protecting the north from pests and diseases

Old World screwworm fly. Photo: Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org
Old World screwworm fly. Photo: Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org

NORTHERN Australian livestock industries are expected to benefit from a ‘northern guard’ program aimed at strengthening the surveillance of diseases and pests such as Foot and Mouth Disease and screw-worm fly.

The Coalition Government has launched the Northern Australia Biosecurity Surveillance Significant Disease Investigation Network in Townsville.

Townsville is an important port for agricultural exports.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud said a large scale Foot and Mouth outbreak would be a disaster.

“A Foot and Mouth outbreak could cost the national economy up to $52bn over 10 years, so it is vital we do everything in our power to guard against pests and diseases,” Minister Littleproud said.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the launch of the network was great news for the northern Australian livestock sector.

“It will help us maximise our surveillance capacity across the north to ensure we can best protect our industries and our farm productivity,” Mr Canavan said.

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