Toowoomba stock standstill exercise

News release | 15-Nov-2019

While there are stringent controls in place to stop foot and mouth disease (FMD) and other exotic diseases from entering Australia, Biosecurity Queensland is still making sure key sites are prepared for a disease outbreak.

Last week, Biosecurity Queensland, in partnership with Elders Toowoomba and Animal Health Australia, ran a livestock standstill and emergency animal disease exercise at Harristown saleyards, Toowoomba.

Biosecurity Queensland worked with our partners Animal Health Australia to deliver the exercise with Elders Toowoomba working through their Biosecurity Plan and Livestock Standstill plan.

The Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association supported the event and Queensland Police attended with their local Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural) officers, as well as the Queensland Police Executive Officer for the Toowoomba District Disaster Management Group.

Toowoomba Regional Council and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers helped local livestock agents from Elders and Landmark and other participants, understand how local counter disaster planning works. 

In addition, Western Downs Regional Council staff attended along with the Southern Downs Council Saleyards Superintendent.

AAM contractors at Harristown saleyards who handle livestock receipt and delivery, as well as NLIS scanning were very keen to learn about the impact of an emergency animal disease incident on their operations. Frasers’ Transport, which has a large fleet of livestock transport trucks operating in eastern Australia were keen to participate, while Mort and Co provided valuable insights from a cattle buyers’ perspective.     

As a result, livestock agents gained an even better understanding of their role as a key player in monitoring the health of livestock they sell. Additionally, there was an acknowledgement that their relationship with their vendors, livestock buyers and saleyard management plays an important role in effective biosecurity management at the saleyards and that the saleyard industry is an important biosecurity partner in the whole livestock supply chain.

The exercise demonstrated to the counter disaster support agencies the complexities of managing livestock disease emergencies and the support that would be required.

Following this year’s successful program of livestock standstill exercises at Roma, Gracemere and Harristown saleyards, Biosecurity Queensland has provided funding for partner Animal Health Australia to continue working with the saleyard industry and regional Biosecurity staff to deliver more planning events at Queensland saleyards in 2020.  

Media contact: DAF Media,