Australia boosts biosecurity capabilities in Indonesia and TL

Australia boosts biosecurity capabilities in Indonesia and TL

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt (Photo/BeefCentral)

DILI, 02 may 2023 (TATOLI) – The Government of Australia, through its $770,000 International Training Program boosts biosecurity capabilities in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

With the support, Timorese farmers will be further protected from incursions of exotic diseases like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD).

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said that the program was part of a broader agenda to invest in regional biosecurity, which includes closer collaboration and cooperation with its nearest neighbors, including Indonesia and Timor-Leste: “Australia is free from FMD and LSD and we are determined to keep it that way.”

“Helping our friends and neighbors detect and manage their risk to these exotic diseases, helps us protect our vital agricultural sector,” Watt said in a statement.

“Australia has a long history of biosecurity collaboration with Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and we have ramped up our work together since may 2022 following the detection of FMD in Indonesia.

“This program will provide vital support to Indonesia’s efforts to control the FMD and LSD outbreaks there while assisting Timor-Leste to prevent and prepare for an incursion.”

The funding will create and deliver country-specific ‘train the trainer programs for Indonesia and Timor-Leste and is part of a $14 million package announced by the Government last year.

The program will be run by Charles Sturt University through Australia’s Biosecurity Training Centre (BTC) from April 2023.

Charles Sturt University and the department have been working closely with animal and plant quarantine colleagues in Timor-Leste and Indonesia to determine gaps in their capacity to detect and mitigate the risk of exotic diseases entering through regulated pathways.

Indonesian participants will be receiving training in international best practice approaches to biosecurity.

This will also include developing an understanding of the practical implementation of these approaches.

Areas covered will include import risk analysis, border clearance processes, onshore management, disinfection treatments, and specific risk management associated with high-priority transboundary plant pests and animal diseases including FMD and LSD among others.

The existing skills of the Timorese delegates will be expanded with a focus on key animal and plant pests and diseases that are important in the Timor-Leste setting.

The key focus will be mitigating the risk of FMD, which is currently not present in Timor-Leste, through border inspection techniques.

Both Indonesian and Timorese officers will learn ‘train the trainer’ techniques to enable them to mentor their colleagues.

In the october budget, the Albanese Government committed to $134 million in new, long-term biosecurity investment to protect Australia from exotic diseases.

This funding has seen extra frontline biosecurity officers employed, the donation of four million doses of FMD vaccines to Indonesia, the redeployment of detection dogs to northern airports, and the introduction of sanitation foot mats at all international airports with flights from Indonesia.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has provided $5 million for technical expertise and support for Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, to assist their work in combatting livestock diseases. This includes personnel and logistic support for the distribution of vaccines, along with testing and epidemiological work. This funding has also helped to fund the Biosecurity Training Centre.

There currently is no FMD or LSD in Timor-Leste. While FMD is considered endemic in Indonesia.

Australia provides technical assistance to Timor-Leste to support FMD and LSD preparedness, capacity building including diagnostics, support for delivery of animal health surveys and awareness materials, and provision of equipment. An example includes an LSD and FMD awareness and surveillance campaign that is currently being delivered in the municipalities of Timor-Leste that border West Timor, Indonesia.

Australia also delivered support for Timor-Leste’s African swine fever response and recovery arrangements.

The Department funds the delivery of joint annual plant health surveys in Timor-Leste in partnership with Timor-Leste’s biosecurity agencies.





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