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Fast Fines Prompted by Animal Activism

The following information has been published on behalf of Biosecurity Queensland. Safe Food Holders of Accreditation are advised to contact Biosecurity Queensland directly with any questions pertaining to biosecurity laws.

Queensland farmers and livestock producers are being urged to review their biosecurity management plans and signage to ensure new laws can be enforced against unauthorised entry to their properties.

Queensland’s biosecurity laws have been changed to allow police and biosecurity officers to issue immediate fines to those who do not comply with a property’s biosecurity management plan and who put on-farm biosecurity at risk.

The change was fast-tracked after an escalation in unauthorised entry to properties by animal and vegan activists earlier this year. This is an interim measure; more changes to protect the livestock production industry are likely.

The new biosecurity laws and fines are in addition to existing trespass laws and penalties, which include fines and possible jail time.

To support enforcement of the new biosecurity law, farmers, livestock producers and others who keep animals are encouraged to:

  • Ensure they are registered as a biosecurity entity with Biosecurity Queensland
  • Have an up-to-date biosecurity management plan in place
    – If you don’t have a plan in place, a template for developing a biosecurity management plan which aligns to the regulation is available from Animal Health Australia
  • Have appropriate clear signage at the entry points to your property advising visitors that a biosecurity management plan is in place and how they can contact you during business hours

Primary producers are also encouraged to:

  • Keep all doors, gates and other entry points locked when staff are not present
  • Keep records of audits, staff training and biosecurity procedures up-to-date and at hand
  • Consider installing security measures such as CCTV video surveillance
  • Carefully consider applicants and terms of employment before hiring new staff.

For more information about the new biosecurity law and what you can do at your place, please contact Biosecurity Queensland.