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Goat producers partner for improved animal health surveillance in Australia

13 March 2020
Meat & Livestock Australia

A new project is looking at how Australian producers can ramp up their on-farm surveillance to get prepared for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD).

What is the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Ready* project?

The Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Ready project includes four sub-projects, one of which explores producer-led partnerships to improve on-farm surveillance.

It has established five pilot groups across five states in Australia – one for each of the FMD-susceptible livestock industries, which include goat, beef, sheep, dairy and pork. These pilot groups are focusing on areas of interest to them, such as improving awareness and recognition of disease in livestock through post-mortem and diagnostic sampling workshops, herd health training and improving feedback to producers from abattoirs.

How are goat producers getting involved?

In October 2019, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions in South Australia hosted the third Goat Innovation Platform pilot. Goat producers and vets came together to discuss industry issues, with guest speaker Dr Sandra Baxendell from GoatvetOz presenting on Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis and Johne’s disease.

John Falkenhagen, President of the Goat Industry Council of Australia, updated the group on the latest news and initiatives in the industry and canvased the idea of the group’s continuation beyond the project, which was well-received.

The group is also in the process of developing a goat disease guide book.

To learn more about the goat pilot and the FMD Ready project, visit



* The FMD Ready project is supported by MLA through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture as part of its Rural Research & Development for Profit program, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and Charles Sturt University, leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners.

The research partners for this project are CSIRO, Charles Sturt University through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Department of Agriculture, supported by Animal Health Australia.

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