Animal and Plant emergency events can be triggered by an unlimited number of factors which include but sare not limited to; the accidental or deliberate importation of diseases or species, urbanisation of rural areas, agroterrorism (extreme activists) and the intensification of agriculture. Climate change can also increase the risk of pests and diseases developing.
Animal and Plant emergencies occur when any of the below are adversely impacted:
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility between government, industry and the community which manages the risks to Australia posed by animal and plant pests and diseases, food borne illnesses, and misuse of rural chemicals.
South Australia is lucky to be free from many of the world’s worst animal diseases and most damaging plant pests, it is widely accepted that all South Australians can contribute to maintaining a positive biosecurity status. The economy in South Australia is dependent on the trade of plant and animal products which means the biosecurity system is always going to face significant challenges such as increasing passenger numbers and the cargo containers arriving daily at our Airports and Ports.
It is important for the economy of Port Adelaide Enfield that the biosecurity system remains successful as it allows us to protect the integrity of our environment, maintain our favourable pest and disease status and protect the productivity of our primary producers.
The National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, developed by the Council of Australian Governments, provides high-level guidance on disaster management to agencies with a role in emergency management. Foremost in the Strategy is the principle of all of society taking responsibility for preventing disasters.
In the context of Animal and Plant disease:
Individuals Travelling to The City of Port Adelaide Enfield
It is everyone's responsibility to keep animals and plants free from pests and diseases. All people, animals and items coming into the country are subject to import requirements which extend to:
Individuals as Residents of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield
To increase community resilience, individuals should actively plan and prepare for protecting their own animals and plants. This can be done by identifying destructive plant pests and diseases and reporting outbreaks. Resilience is also increased by knowing and being involved in local community arrangements, and volunteer roles. Biosecurity awareness is especially important for:
Government agencies, local governments and communities
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) manages the risks posed by animal and plant pests and diseases in South Australia. However, all individuals should be aware of their own animal and plant risks and should follow advice given by PIRSA when responding to warnings.
Organisations should include animal and plant risk within their Community Emergency Risk Assessment activities. This includes consideration within emergency management planning and land use planning. Government and industry and research bodies perform research in order to understand pest behaviour so they can plan better control methods. These methods include surveillance, detection and eradication. The success of biosecurity operational activities often depends on support from the community. Because effective community engagement requires capacity to act, a pre-existing relationship, and includes mutual learning these elements will almost certainly take time to achieve.
There are many groups of potentially vulnerable people (e.g. older adults or people with disabilities) whose unique needs may not be accounted for in animal disease emergency plans, this is especially so if they are reliant on companion animals to perform everyday tasks.
Vulnerable people require more attention when they are experiencing an Emergency situation compared to everyone else. Planning to help friends and relatives who are considered vulnerable contributes greatly to emergency resilience in communities.
Private Industry and Businesses
Industry groups have a critical role in preventing, preparing for, and responding to outbreaks that affect them. They should understand the risks that they face and ensuring that they are able to continue providing services during or soon after a disaster.
Businesses should plan for the risk of disruption, and ensure arrangements are in place to maintain critical services where required. The links below are designed to help businesses plan for emergency situations:
Business Continuity plans – A quick guide to impact analysis and plan development
Plan and prepare – State Government advice on how to protect your business
For additional information about Animal and Plant Disease:
SA GOV - PIRSA Webpage - Current Alerts - News and Events
SA GOV - Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Animal Pests & Diseases
SA GOV - National Pest and Disease Outbreaks
SA GOV - Emergencies and Safety - Animal and Plant Disease
SA GOV - Information on Marine Pests
Things you can do now to prepare for Animal and Plant Disease
Understand the impacts of disease outbreaks
A major outbreak of an animal or plant disease could cost billions of dollars in lost earnings. It could affect farmers, their produce and livelihoods. Exotic pests and diseases may also put at risk the state's reputation for producing premium food and wine, and risk trade overseas and locally.
Biosecurity measures help protect South Australia from animal and plant pests and diseases. It's about managing pests and disease from entering, emerging, establishing and spreading in the state. Every year, the state government spends about $5 million keeping fruit fly and other plant pests out of the state.
Animal and Plant Disease Notifications
Register here for biosecurity alerts to be sent directly to you
The South Australian Emergency Management Sector encourages every household, business and farm to have a written emergency plan
It is worthwhile having a plan for what you would do if your usual ways of getting groceries, petrol or medical supplies are disrupted for several days. Here are some suggestions of things you can do to prepare for animal and plant disease outbreak:
You can assist in feral animal eradication by contributing to the Department of Industry and Science by mapping feral animal sightings in your area. Look out for:
For those who keep livestock:
Remember that even if you are a small scale landowner and only have a single animal, under the Livestock Act 1997 if you buy, sell, take in and feed, loan or borrow any livestock or poultry you must register your property (applies to livestock, including horses) and tag your animals (applies to cattle, sheep and goats).
The links below will help you further assess your situation and prepare:
Wildlife Health Australia
Hendra virus in horses - Department of Agriculture
Control rabbits, foxes and deer - SA Natural Resources
Fruit fly - for gardeners - Plant Health Australia
During an outbreak
When an outbreak occurs PIRSA will provide you with instructions on specific measures to follow.
PIRSA advice may include the following measures:
Who do I Contact?
There is an ongoing need to practice good biosecurity and report the first signs of disease. Notifiable diseases are animal diseases that are a national threat, and by law must be reported. Follow any advice or directions given.
There are a number of farmers markets in the Council area which provide a great opportunity for farmers to sell fresh products direct to the consumer. It is acknowledged that these gatherings are potentially a vehicle for the spread of animal and plant pests and diseases.
In addition to standard biosecurity practices, participants at farmers’ markets should also adopt the following biosecurity measures.
Report any observed issues to:
Exotic Plant Pest Hotline1800 084 881
Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline1800 675 888
Visit the Farm Biosecurity Website for free on-farm biosecurity information and resources
Find more information on Fruit Fly and the Home Garden here
If you observe signs of illness in your pets, contact your local vet. Look out for these symptoms in your animals (including birds and livestock):
If you think you have seen unusual signs of disease in livestock or birds, or suspicious deaths in wildlife you can report it to:
For Aquatic Animals
It is important that aquatic animal diseases are identified early to protect the sustainability of commercial and recreational fisheries, the productivity of aquaculture industries, access to international markets for Australian seafood industries, and aquatic environments.
Contact FISHWATCH on 1800 065 522
For Plants (including crops and trees)
Look out for these symptoms:
Phone the Emergency Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or contact your nearest PIRSA office to report plant pests, pests of bees, diseased plants or new weeds
For Fruit Fly sightings call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010
To find out more visit Pest animals and weeds in Australia
The Farm Biosecurity website offers a range of free on-farm biosecurity information and resources for hobby farmers, right through to those on large-scale farming enterprises. You can even create your own farm profile and resource toolkit based on the livestock and crops you have on your property.
The Livestock Biosecurity Network is a collaborative initiative which provides livestock producers with tools and information to manage endemic and exotic diseases, as well as pest and weed incidents on their farms.
Private Industry and businesses
In response to specific outbreaks businesses have the opportunity to take part in decision making processes as long as they are signatories to the relevant deed or agreement. A number of agreements and deeds are in place with regard to Animal and Plant disease and more information on each can be found below:
AUSVETPLAN is a comprehensive series of manuals that sets out a preferred approach to how an outbreak is managed.
AQUAVETPLAN sets out the preferred to approach to diseases that affect aquatic animals, including finfish, crustaceans and molluscs.
PLANTPLAN the agreed technical response plan used for emergency plant pest incidents.
Emergency Marine Pest Plan sets out the roles, responsibilities and actions that must be undertaken when a new pest is detected in Australia’s marine environment.