WA livestock producers can now access all of the subsidies information and required forms for disease investigations by veterinarians in one place on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website.
Department Animal Health Surveillance manager Marion Seymour said investigating significant illness or deaths in livestock to rule out emergency diseases was a crucial part of Australia’s animal health surveillance system.
“Veterinary investigations that include laboratory testing are essential to prove that emergency livestock diseases are not present in Australia. The data from these investigations is needed to support domestic consumer confidence and to protect our export markets for livestock product,” Dr Seymour said.
“We know that producers are sometimes deterred by the potential cost of calling a vet when a livestock health issue occurs, or they may call a vet but not request a full range of laboratory tests to reduce costs.
“To provide an incentive to producers to call a vet when unusual disease signs or deaths occur in livestock, the department offers a range of subsidies that can be accessed via a local private vet or department vet.”
Where the disease meets the relevant criteria, the subsidies cover either all or most of the vet’s disease investigation costs (including travel costs) and the laboratory testing fees.
“The direct benefit to the producer of a calling a vet is clear – they obtain a diagnosis that is scientifically verified,” Dr Seymour said.
“This saves them money on potentially incorrect treatments as the vet can advise on how to manage the disease now and prevent it in future.
“Just as importantly, the laboratory test results are used to support Australia’s evidence of freedom from significant diseases, which means we are able to continue to export 80 per cent of our livestock and livestock product around the world.”
Dr Seymour said the information about subsidies had now been consolidated into easy-to-read webpages that contained the subsidies criteria and the relevant forms for both producers and vets.
For more information, see the Surveillance incentives for WA producers webpage on the department website.
Producers can also visit the department shed at Dowerin Machinery Field Days to pick up a subsidies factsheet and talk to the department’s Moora and Northam vets and private vets from Merredin and Dandaragan.
Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937