VICTORIAN livestock producers will be able to choose from three Livestock Production Assurance events in the state over the next four weeks, as the October 1 deadline for the filing of farm biosecurity plans draws closer.
The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Health and Biosecurity program will help livestock producers in the state understand and implement the Livestock Production Assurance program changes at workshops at Newstead, Nullawill and Horsham.
Changes to the LPA program will take effect on Sunday October 1 this year and focus on animal welfare and biosecurity.
The VFF’s Livestock Health & Biosecurity Victoria staff are hosting a series of events around Victoria to ensure producers are across the changes and well equipped to develop biosecurity plans.
All LPA accredited producers will receive notification from Meat and Livestock Australia’s Integrity Systems Company about the changes and what it means for the industry.
The LPA events will be held at the Newstead Community Centre on Wednesday September 20; the Nullawill Recreation Reserve on Thursday September 21, and; the Horsham Golf Club on Monday October 16.
The LHBV team will also be available to answer questions at the Elmore Field Days, the VFF said.
A copy of the industry approved biosecurity template can be downloaded from the LHBV/biosecurity webpage
Online LPA Learning tool can be completed in an hour
The online education tool – LPA Learning – has been expanded to cover biosecurity and animal welfare, and supports producers to complete the knowledge assessment required to gain or renew LPA accreditation. The full LPA Learning course can be completed within one hour and can be accessed via www.mla.com.au/LPALearning Producers can also watch a short video on LPA Learning so they know what to expect.
All LPA Learning modules are designed to deliver practical on‐farm information to producers and includes new modules covering on‐farm food safety practices.
Dr Jane Weatherley, chief executive officer of the Integrity Systems Company which manages the LPA program on behalf of the red meat industry said producers will be able to use LPA Learning to build their knowledge on their responsibilities under the program before sitting the short assessment.
“Producers should pay particular attention to the modules which cover the new biosecurity and animal welfare aspects of LPA.
“This will enable them to maintain their accreditation when their renewal is due, once every three years.”
Red meat producers seeking accreditation for the first time must work through all seven LPA Learning modules, then correctly answer the assessment questions which follow. Existing LPA‐accredited producers have the option of completing the full course as a knowledge refresher before taking the assessment or can skip ahead to the questions if confident that they understand the content fully.
Renewing the accreditation of the 220,000 livestock producers currently involved in LPA will be a gradual process, with all producers expected to complete the assessment and renew their accreditation by 2020.
From 1 October, producers will be required to renew their LPA accreditation once every three years, and will be notified by email or post when their existing accreditation is due for renewal. Once notified, producers will have two months in which to renew.
A fee will be charged upon accreditation and reaccreditation. The decision to implement this more sustainable funding model was taken by industry through the LPA Advisory Committee. The $66 fee ($60 plus GST), paid upon reaccreditation, supplements levy investment to ensure the system receives ongoing resourcing for continual improvement.
Where there is more than one LPA‐accredited producer operating on a PIC, the fee will apply to each of those producers. Producers with more than one PIC will be required to make the fee payment for each of those PICs.