COULD electronic identification in livestock help minimise the impact of a disease outbreak in Western Australia?
Curtin University senior lecturer in supply chain management and logistics Elizabeth Jackson said while adoption of such technology had been slow, it could prove important for protection against biosecurity threats.
"Now that we have foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease on our doorstep, we must be using this supply chain technology to help manage the threats and risk," Dr Jackson said.
"Infected livestock could then be quickly quarantined and dealt with, as opposed to the disease spreading out of control.
"If it reached that point, those responsible for monitoring disease outbreaks would essentially be working on a paper-based system, which is slow and comprises animal welfare biosecurity."
While eID is mandatory for cattle, it is not the case for the sheep and goat industries in WA.
Dr Jackson said electronic identification had been unilaterally adopted through global supply chains for generic products and stock not at risk of disease.
She said current biosecurity threats were a wakeup call, as to how important the adoption of this technology in livestock is.
"This is about the importance of managing global supply chains and isn't about the flow of products.
"It is about the flow of information when it comes to biosecurity and the threat of catastrophic diseases to the welfare of our animals and their owners.
"And there are certainly solutions readily available to manage outbreaks - should they occur."
Dr Jackson said a plan was needed and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development was developing one based on existing evidence of livestock movements.
She said it needed to be noticed, it needed to be applauded and it needed the boots on the ground to get on board with the plan.
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