Aussie Vendor Declarations Improve Biosecurity

AUSTRALIA - New research by Animal Health Australia (AHA) has shown that livestock producers are highly aware of National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) and are using them effectively.
calendar icon 16 July 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The finding was welcomed by both Animal Health Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) as demonstrating strong support for protecting both livestock health and the viability of Australia's export markets.

AHA Manager Disease Risk Mitigation Duncan Rowland said that while NVDs were set up to provide a way for livestock owners to transfer information about their animals such as residue status, many producers didn't realise their value as a farm biosecurity tool.

"In the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak, NVDs will give us vital information to trace the movement of animals and stop an outbreak in its tracks," Mr Rowland said.

"In the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak, NVDs will give us vital information to trace the movement of animals and stop an outbreak in its tracks"
AHA Manager Disease Risk Mitigation Duncan Rowland

The NVD is a statutory declaration that owners sign prior to selling, slaughtering, or moving cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

The research showed that nearly all producers (96%) were highly familiar with NVDs, with 98% completing one every time they sold stock. Encouragingly, 92% said there were no circumstances under which they wouldn't complete a NVD.

MLA Manager Livestock Product Integrity Patrick Hutchison also welcomed the positive results, saying that it is encouraging that use of NVDs is so widespread.

"The research showed that more than 95% say that completing an NVD is easy to do," Mr Hutchinson said.

"Livestock producers are telling us they are now very familiar with them and that they understand them clearly and are using them consistently. It's encouraging that they are also insisting other producers use them too," Mr Hutchinson said.

Mr Rowland said that consistent use of NVDs was another step to making sure that Australian livestock producers were practicing sound farm biosecurity in their day to day operations.

"To really strengthen their farm biosecurity, producers should complete an NVD every time they move stock - irrespective of if there is a change of ownership," Mr Rowland said.

"For example, producers need to make sure they complete an NVD when stock is moved from one property to another, when selling animals privately, and when animals are agisted."

"It's important that producers take the time to fill in NVDs correctly and also make sure they request them for all stock they receive so that if tracing is required, producers know exactly which stock has been moved and might be at risk," Mr Rowland said.

"Farm biosecurity is instrumental in protecting our livestock and our markets from the impact of disease. For most producers, it is encouraging to find that most sound farm biosecurity measures are ones they are already putting into practice, such as the use of NVDs."

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