LIVESTOCK producers are being urged to make the most of the Royalties for Regions-supported Subsidised Disease Investigation Pilot Program (SDIPP) before it ends later this year.
The program - delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) - subsidises veterinary investigations into signs of disease in cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.
It aims to boost surveillance and testing for emergency animal disease in WA, to safeguard trade, national animal health productivity, public health and the environment.
DAFWA field veterinary officer Dr Rod Thompson stressed the importance of such surveillance programs at the WAFarmers Sheep Health Workshop at Muresk Institute last week.
Dr Thompson said a disease outbreak in WA could cost the State $2 billion.
"Eighty per cent of the production of livestock and livestock products from WA is exported, so you can imagine what would happen if we had a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, our international markets would close overnight," he said.
"The impact on that is not just on the livestock industries and those associated with it, such as saleyards and transporters, but it's also on the social and community fabrication or the societal businesses that run around that."
The SDIPP subsidises costs of up to $300 for a disease investigation from a government or private vet.
It also covers a mileage subsidy of up to 200 kilometres if the vet travels on-farm and $800 worth of laboratory testing from DAFWA Animal Health Laboratories.
The program is due to end in September this year.