The Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act) commenced on 1 July 2016.
The Act improves Queensland's biosecurity preparedness and response capabilities. Under the Act, we will be better placed to focus on the biosecurity risks that impact our economy, our agricultural and tourism industries, our environment and our lifestyle.
All individuals and organisations whose activities pose a biosecurity risk have a legal responsibility for managing them.
The general biosecurity obligation for horses
As a horse owner you need to take an active role in managing biosecurity risks under your control. You are not expected to know about all biosecurity risks, but you are expected to know about those associated with your day-to-day work and your leisure activities.
The general biosecurity obligation means you will need to ensure your activities do not spread a pest, disease or contaminant.
Registration requirements if you keep horses
Registration provides Biosecurity Queensland with important information for traceability purposes in the case of a disease outbreak or contamination.
If you have not already registered and keep at least one horse, you are a registrable biosecurity entity and must register with Biosecurity Queensland. You must register even if you don’t own the land that you keep your horse on (agistee).
If you are already registered and have been allocated a PIC before 1 July 2016, you will automatically be registered as a biosecurity entity on 1 July 2016. Your registration will be valid until 1 July 2019.
You must also register if you keep:
- one or more cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids (e.g. alpacas, llamas, camels) or equine species (e.g. horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, zebras)
- 100 or more designated birds–those that are raised for human consumption (poultry) or the production of eggs for human consumption (e.g. chickens), or that have been released into free flight since they started being kept in captivity (e.g. pigeons)
- one or more bee hives.
When you register, you will be allocated a property identification code (PIC). This PIC corresponds to the land where you keep your horse. PICs are not owned by the landowner they are allocated to land.
Registration will be valid for three years from the date of registration. If, after that three year period you are still keeping horses, you will need to renew your registration.
If you do not renew your registration prior to expiry, your PIC(s) may be cancelled.
Please contact us to review your details and provide a current email address so we can contact you about your registration if needed.
You can either contact your local Department of Agriculture and Fisheries regional office or our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 to review your details.
How to register
You will be able to register as a biosecurity entity and be allocated a PIC by either:
- contacting your local Department of Agriculture and Fisheries regional office for an application form
- calling the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.
Under the Act, the requirement to record animal movements has been expanded. This will help ensure a robust traceability system is in place.
From 1 July 2016, every time a horse (or other designated animal) moves off a property, a movement record must be created.
The new legislation recognises the need for more flexible methods of recording animal movements. It allows for a range of methods (including electronic records) to be used as a valid record as long as it captures the following details:
- name of the person completing the record
- where the horses/s are being moved from
- where the horses/s are being moved to and the name and address of the person receiving the horse/s
- the date of movement
- description of horse.
If you receive a horse onto your property you must either create a movement record or take a copy of the existing movement record that includes those details. You are receiving a horse if a horse is being delivered to your care, this includes if a horse stays at your place overnight or you are a vet.
If you are moving a horse and there is no receiver, only one movement record needs to be created. For movements including taking a horse for a ride down the road, to the beach or to the neighbours for the day simply record where you rode to and your return address.
Multiple movements can be recorded on one movement record. Movement records can be created in any format providing it captures the above specified information, including:
- diary or logbook entries
- notepad or exercise book
- text message
- Excel spreadsheet
- movement record (template only - this is template for all animals and some information may not be required for horse movements)
- horse health declaration.
If you are moving a horse across the tick line you must have the movement record in your possession.
Movement records at events
Organisers of horse events must also keep records of each horse that has attended their event. The following information must be recorded:
- date of the event
- name and address of the person who kept the animal before the event and of the person keeping the animal after the event
- where the animal/s came from
- when the animal/s arrived and left the event
- description of animal/s
- for sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas and llamas that are not fitted with an electronic approved device the event organiser must record the PIC shown on the device of the animal.
The details specified above must be recorded, as well as when the horses arrived at the show and when they left.
These records can be kept in any format as long as they can be produced if requested (by an inspector) and must be kept for two years. Horse health declarations used as an entry condition may meet this requirement as long as all the necessary details are recorded. These declarations could be copied as competitors enter the grounds and kept by the organiser.
Cattle tick management
A new risk-based cattle tick management framework commenced in Queensland on 1 July 2016. The new framework provides greater flexibility for people managing cattle tick on their property and facilitates reduced travel times and costs.
Under the framework, part of Queensland has been declared as a tick free zone and the remainder as a tick infested zone. View the location of the tick line.
Infested places in the free zone
Property owners of places that are infested with ticks in the tick free zone must eradicate ticks from the property and ensure they meet their risk minimisation requirements before moving any horses from the property.
The steps you need to take to meet your requirements for moving horses are included in the Queensland biosecurity manual. Generally, your horses must be free of ticks before the movement commences.
All horse owners have an obligation to report the presence of cattle tick in the tick free zone.
Property owners of infested places must also take all reasonable steps to stop cattle tick spreading, including onto neighbouring properties.
Property owners must ensure good biosecurity practices regardless of their location and tick status.
Crossing the tick line
Under the new framework, horses are considered to pose a low risk of spreading viable cattle tick and are referred to as 'low risk carriers'.
Permits will no longer be issued for horses crossing the tick line.
Before you move horses from the infested zone to the free zone you must be tick free and have met your cattle tick risk minimisation requirements.
You must read and follow the procedures identified in 16b of the Queensland biosecurity manual for the intended movement. There are 3 options provided in the manual that you can use to meet the requirements:
- Owner manual inspection and chemical treatment
- Owner manual inspection and manage your horse in a (tick free) stated way
- Accredited certifier manual inspection and chemical treatment.
You also need to record on the movement record the actions you have taken to meet the requirements.