The Farmer’s Nemesis

For those of us lucky enough to call themselves farmers, what draws us to this line of work is usually the same. The unexplainable satisfaction that comes with being able to work hard using your hands and reap the fruits of your labour. The joys, the triumphs; it’s watching the sunrise, birthing a calf, being one with nature and the animals, every day being different and experiencing life how it should be. But we all know that behind those picturesque sunsets and happy cows, the man (or woman) in charge is wading through mountains of regulations, rules and compliance: the much-loathed farmer’s nemesis 

As the threats of biosecurity risks intensify, it is inevitable that there will be more breaches and outbreaks, despite the effectiveness of the policy decisions and practices of Government and the Australian Agricultural industry in keeping key pests and diseases at bay. In fact, nearly 100 biosecurity incursions have occurred in Victoria between 2015 and 2023. With key trends such as climate change, increasing trade and travel, and changing land use driving increased biosecurity risks in Victoria, it is now less a matter of ‘if’ and more a matter of ‘when’ we will be challenged by the next significant threat. 

In the face of these pressures, a broad consensus is emerging across industry, community, and government stakeholders on the need for greater action. Invasive species are estimated to cost Australia around $24.5 billion a year, making it vital for sustainable and ethical farming practices. This promotes accountability in critical areas such as water management, chemical usage, and land conservation, which are crucial for the long-term health of our agricultural ecosystems. 

Preventing and managing biosecurity risks is everyone’s business. It requires greater coordinated action and cooperation. Your role as a farmer is to have in place a biosecurity plan, review it regularly with everyone on the farm to make them aware of the plan and that everyone knows their role when faced with a biosecurity threat.  

So, where do you start and how do you know which farm biosecurity plan is right for you? 


Here are some key steps for high standards in managing biosecurity on your farm: 

  1. Get a Property Identification Code (PIC) for recording vital information about the location of animals; allows the government to alert you of a disease outbreak and other emergencies. The Biosecurity Legislation Amendment (Incident Response) Bill 2024, passed in Parliament this week is strengthening the rules and increasing fines to ensure traceability of livestock.
  2. Update the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database for timely uploads of any livestock movements.
  3. Make a farm plan to promote good hygiene practices and control the movement of livestock, people, and equipment onto your property.
  4. Manage vehicles and visitors on your property with documentation of all vehicle movements, biosecurity signage, and facilities for washing and disinfecting.
  5. Manage your livestock with up-to-date records of their movements, isolation of new livestock, and avoiding prohibited pig feed.
  6. Understand the signs of disease in different types of livestock and contact Agriculture Victoria immediately on the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline or contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria Animal Health and Welfare staff.

Agriculture Victoria offers free farm biosecurity plans and guidance on their website based on what type of farm you have: 


Our goal at RFCS Gippsland is to HELP YOU SUCCEED.  

We provide our agricultural industries and small rural businesses with FREE and CONFIDENTIAL services with a qualified team of agribusiness, financial and wellbeing specialists. RFCS Gippsland offer financial counsel, planning and guidance as well as additional support for your wellbeing. RFCS Gippsland has over 35 years of experience supporting farming and rural communities.  

If you are struggling emotionally or financially (or know someone who is), protect them and yourself by referring to the free confidential services of RFCS Gippsland. Our specialised rural financial support team will work on improving your finances whilst a dedicated wellness support officer will focus on you. 

Call 1300 045 747 or visit to find out more.   



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