On farm biosecurity planning tips

A farm biosecurity plan is a crucial way to protect your property against pests, weeds and diseases, as well as help defend Australia’s agricultural industry against emergency animal diseases.


Farm biosecurity is a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of infectious plant and animal diseases, pests and weeds. Farm biosecurity is your responsibility, and that of every person visiting or working on your property.

Good farm biosecurity is designed to reduce the risk of introducing contagious diseases and weeds to your property by people, animals, equipment or vehicles.

By sticking to some simple rules, you may prevent disaster. As primary producers or visitors to a farm, we all have a role in ensuring we are aware of the risks, implications and ways to manage farm biosecurity.

To better understand farm biosecurity, sign up to the Better Biosecurity newsletter email series for guidance on how to maintain a biosecure farm, look out for diseases and maintain the health of your animals.

This newsletter series will deliver regular tips to help you assess and manage your biosecurity risks with information on managing farm visitors, how to put together a biosecurity plan for your farm and more.

Sign up for the Better Biosecurity email series today


A farm biosecurity plan outlines what measures and actions you have in place to reduce or mitigate risks from pests, weeds and diseases on your farm.


Farm biosecurity doesn’t have to be hard, and a simple, tailored biosecurity plan can help protect your farm business.

Considering your own farm biosecurity plan helps you identify, prioritise, and implement the right biosecurity practices that are relevant to your property and your business. A self-assessment checklist will help you identify your property's biosecurity strengths and weaknesses.

There are several great templates available that will help you quickly and easily establish your farm biosecurity plan. These include the Animal Health Australia template.

The best place to start is thinking about your:

  • Farm inputs and outputs – such as feeds (particularly purchased), animals and seed, fertilisers, chemicals, water supplies and drainage waters
  • People, vehicles and equipment – including appropriate signage, vehicle and equipment hygiene, movement of people to and from your farm
  • Production practices – such as the use of irrigation and drainage waters, fences (good fences make for good neighbours!), vaccination and drenching programs, chemical applications, crop and animal health monitoring
  • Ferals and weeds – wild and feral animals can mix with your own stock, spread disease, and contaminate feed and water. Weeds in their own right can pose significant biosecurity risks.
  • Train, plan and record – have good systems in place, record stock movements, and have staff and family members well-trained so they know what to look out for, be vigilant and report anything suspicious.

To better understand farm biosecurity planning download our farm biosecurity planning factsheet PDF, 354.35 KB

The following videos highlight how two Central Tablelands farmers are planning and managing their biosecurity to protect their farming enterprises.

Strategic weed management for a productive grazing enterprise - 'Peronne', Wiagdon

The value of monitoring in pest animal management - 'Box Hill', Turondale


Our district veterinarians and biosecurity officers are there to support farmers and landholders with your farm biosecurity.

They provide guidance and assistance to ensure the health of livestock.

During an emergency animal disease outbreak, having a biosecurity plan is crucial.

By working together and following a robust biosecurity plan, farmers can better safeguard their animals and livelihoods.

Hear from our District Vet, Bruce Watt on the elements of a good biosecurity plan and where you can find a good farm biosecurity plan template.

Farm biosecurity planning - the essentials of a farm biosecurity plan

Hear from our Senior Biosecurity Officer Eliza Bramma on how a farm biosecurity plan can prevent the incursion of pests and weeds on your land


If you are a new landholder, now is the time to establish solid biosecurity practices to protect your land, livestock and neighbours.

By proactively learning and applying biosecurity practices, new landholders safeguard their farms and contribute to a resilient agricultural sector.

You can learn more about biosecurity through local agricultural providers, workshops and experienced farmers in your area. Online resources are also valuable.

We have developed a dedicated biosecurity newsletter series which will send the latest biosecurity tips and tricks straight to your inbox. The series looks at how animal disease can cost the economy, how to stop the spread of disease when visitors come around, how to properly clean your footwear and set up a biosecurity kit and more!

Sign up for the Better Biosecurity email series today

Nicole Hinks moved to Orange from Sydney as a new landholder and has established a series of biosecurity practices to protect her livestock and property. You can hear about Nicole’s farm biosecurity in the video below.


Following a biosecurity plan is crucial for producers to deliver high-quality products, maintain market access, and maximize profits.

By implementing effective biosecurity practices, producers can prevent the introduction and spread of diseases and pests that could harm their products. This protects their brand reputation, consumer trust, and reduces the risk of financial losses.

A well-executed biosecurity plan is a proactive investment in the long-term success of the business and the sustainability of the agricultural industry.

Megan Halcroft manages a sheep stud in Hampton and uses her biosecurity planning to maintain her brand and access to marketing. Watch the video below to better understand the value of biosecurity planning and implementation for market access.


With the emerging risk of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, it is important you are familiar with the symptoms and know what to do if you suspect a case on your land.

Any animal showing suspect signs of either disease must be reported to your local private veterinarian, a Local Land Services District Veterinarian or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline (1800 675 888).


There are several vectors that spread farm biosecurity threats.

Make sure your farm biosecurity plan identifies these potential pathways and that you have adequate mitigation methods in place to protect your farm.

Think about how you can minimise the risk of introducing diseases, pests and weed seeds at each checkpoint or biosecurity zone around your farm. Biosecurity should become a habit as you build your plan around daily, monthly or yearly farm routines.

High-risk vectors can be transferred by:


Come clean-go clean! This is imperative for vehicles, footwear, equipment and machinery.

Many diseases can be carried onto your property via dirt, manure or grass. To determine if your current farm biosecurity plan hygiene practices are up to date see the AUSVETPlan Decontamination Manual for the latest information on decontamination procedures and recommended disinfectants.

Consider people coming onto your farm as well. Have they been on other farms recently? Refer to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for the latest advice to overseas travelers. Simple things like having signage at your farm entrances will ensure biosecurity is kept ‘front of mind’ to any visitor or farm worker.

Farms in NSW can implement a Biosecurity Management Plan to provide extra protection against biosecurity risks caused by unlawful entry.

Ensure all of your staff and family are trained in husbandry, management and disease recognition.


Ensure that your farm biosecurity plan sets quarantine periods for new stock, and your own stock returning (ie from agricultural shows, agistment, etc).

The minimum quarantine period recommended for foot-and-mouth disease is 15 days, and 17 days for lumpy skin disease.

When purchasing in livestock always request an Animal Health Declaration (AHD) with your national vendor declaration. Free downloadable copies of all AHDs can be found on the Farm Biosecurity website.

And remember; all livestock that are moved onto your property need to be transferred on the national livestock identification system (NLIS) database onto your property identification code (PIC) within two days.


Animal Health Australia (AHA) has several online emergency animal disease training courses available for all producers.

The Emergency Animal Disease Foundation Course outlines how a response would be managed in Australia and gives you a great overview.

The Foot-And-Mouth Disease Awareness Protecting your Livelihood and Community Course emphasises everyone’s role in preventing, reporting and responding to foot-and-mouth disease.

For more information and to register please visit the AHA website.

Remember it’s important to keep training records.


Use the knowledge gained through the AHA emergency animal disease training, NSW DPI and Local Land Services websites.

Prepare for an emergency animal disease event on your farm, in the region or in the country.

Practice makes perfect, and you’ll be surprised how many things you learn through this process.


If you have cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids, equines (ie horses and donkeys) and poultry (100 or more), you need to register for a PIC.

Please submit your annual land and stock return by 31 August every year (even if you don’t have any animals).

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