Meat & Livestock News

ALFA and MLA Unite to Enhance Biosecurity in the Feedlot Sector


  • In response to disease threats, MLA funds ALFA’s project to boost biosecurity in Australian feedlots, introducing a dedicated biosecurity manager and comprehensive tools.
  • The initiative aims to prepare the feedlot industry for diseases like foot-and-mouth and lumpy skin disease, focusing on prevention and response strategies.
  • Efforts include developing operational procedures, enhancing industry knowledge, and improving disease response capabilities through accessible resources and on-ground support.

Following recent disease outbreaks in Indonesia, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has partnered with The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) to fortify the Australian feedlot sector against exotic animal diseases (EAD).

This collaboration has led to the inception of the ALFA EAD Biosecurity project, aimed at equipping the industry with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively manage and respond to potential disease incursions.

A key component of this initiative is the creation of a new position, ‘Manager – Feedlot Biosecurity’, currently held by Rachael O’Brien. This role is central to achieving the project’s five main objectives, which include updating the AUSVETPLAN ‘Enterprise manual for beef feedlots’, developing model operational procedures for feedlots, and enhancing the industry’s capability to tackle diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD).

Barb Madden, President of ALFA, highlighted the importance of the biosecurity manager’s work in developing practical tools, such as templates and guides, to strengthen biosecurity practices within feedlots. These resources are designed to help feedlot operators manage animal health more effectively during an EAD outbreak, thereby safeguarding their businesses.

To further support the industry, the biosecurity manager will conduct workshops and extension days across lot feeding regions, focusing on both pre and post EAD tools and resources. These sessions aim to build confidence and capacity within individual feedlots to handle EAD challenges.

Addressing the accessibility of biosecurity resources, especially for feedlots in regional areas, is another critical goal of the project. By raising awareness of the frameworks governing EAD incursions and the support mechanisms available, ALFA seeks to ensure that feedlot operators are well-informed and prepared.

Looking forward, ALFA is committed to identifying and addressing gaps in EAD preparedness, with the on-ground biosecurity manager playing a pivotal role in keeping the Australian lot feeding industry well-equipped to face future disease threats. This proactive approach underscores the importance of biosecurity in maintaining the health and productivity of the feedlot sector.