Goat industry embraces biosecurity

Goat trading between states will become easier with the introduction of a National Goat Health Statement according to Goat Industry Council of Australia’s President Steve Roots.

“This statement was developed by the goat industry for the goat industry and will bring a new level of assurance for producers involved with the trading of goats,” said Steve Roots.

“There is always a risk involved when buying and selling goats and this statement will eliminate some of that risk for producers as it will be an important part of the transaction as it provides the health status of the goats they intend to trade.

“This statement will take effect from 1 February 2009 and introduces new measures for minimising the spread of disease from farm to farm or even state to state,” said Mr Roots.

The National Goat Health Statement is a nationally agreed declaration that recognises the importance of on-farm biosecurity plans in managing costly animal health diseases. The statement will require producers to provide information for a number of significant diseases that impact on farm production. These diseases include footrot, Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE), lice, resistant worms and Johne’s disease.

“On-farm biosecurity contributes significantly to the management of recognised goat diseases such as footrot, CAE and Johne’s disease,” said Steve Roots.

Mohair producer, Ian Cathles said that the development of a goat health statement that included a risk rating system for Johne’s disease provided a long awaited management tool for the goat industry.

“There are many benefits for goat producers like myself and this statement reassures our industry that what stock we buy and sell is of good animal health and we can ask for a copy of the Goat Health Statement before making a purchasing decision”.

“There is an added bonus in the statement as it includes the risk rating for Johne’s disease and recognises the differences between the goat industry and the sheep and cattle industries,” said Ian Cathles.

The Goat Industry Council acknowledges the contribution from state departments of primary industries and the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association on working collaboratively with industry in developing the National Goat Health Statement.

For more information or to obtain a copy of the National Goat Health Statement visit the Farm Biosecurity website.

There are two strains of Johne’s disease, a wasting disease that affects sheep, cattle, alpacas and goats. Both strains affect goats.