Playing It Safe
Each year, staff from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions are on hand at the Royal Adelaide Show to ensure the livestock animals are in good health and that the best biosecurity arrangements are in place to reduce any threat of pest or disease.
Jessie Thomson (Department of Primary Industries and Regions) inspecting sheep
Come the first weekend in September, the Adelaide Showground normally comes alive with the sights, sounds and smells of animals of all shapes and sizes.
Beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, goats and horses from across the nation are herded into the Showground for competitions and display, providing show-goers with an authentic country experience and helping to educate them about the importance of primary production to our state.
Getting all these animals safely into the Showground is a huge logistical exercise, and one that is watched every step of the way by experienced staff from PIRSA.
PIRSA Chief Veterinary Officer Mary Carr says the department plays a key role at the Show, ensuring livestock meet the high biosecurity standards set by organisers.
“When the Show occurs, details of animals that enter the Showgrounds are recorded to ensure we are able to trace them, should any disease risks emerge,” she said.
“At the heart of it, the Show is all about promoting South Australia’s best quality livestock and we are diligent in our role to ensure this happens.”
Once the Show starts, two PIRSA inspectors work on-site most days, ensuring animals meet their legal requirements, including stock clearances for interstate animals, health statements and identification tags, and minimising the risk of animal diseases entering the Show.
All animals at the Show are also transferred onto the national livestock database to ensure lifetime traceability.
Although most of the Show is taking place in cyberspace this year, PIRSA officers will still be hard at work behind-the-scenes at the Adelaide Showground on September 9 for the School Merino Wethers Competition, and on September 6 and 11 for the Elite and Merino ram sales.
Good biosecurity in animal health ultimately means better food quality and continued consumer confidence.
Protecting Plants, Protecting Life
Did you know 2020 is the International Year of Plant Health? Declared by the United Nations General Assembly, the year is designed to raise global awareness of the importance of protecting plant health.
Executive Director of Biosecurity at PIRSA Nathan Rhodes said plant pests and diseases affect our economy, the environment and our health.
“Plants are a fundamental part of life, be they food crops or the natural environment in which we live. This International Year of Plant Health, think about what you can do to protect plants from pest and disease” he said. “Think about what you buy, plant in your garden, and be biosecurity smart when travelling.”
“Be a plant health protector. Everyone is part of the plant health picture; everyone can help protect plants from pests and diseases.”
Nathan said South Australian residents could also help plant health by doing their bit to respond to fruit fly outbreaks in metropolitan Adelaide.
“Pick up fallen fruit and place it in your green bin and don’t share fruit with family or neighbours if you live in an outbreak area – we can all be fruit fly fighters and ensure fruit fly is eradicated from SA.”
AG SHOWCASE QUIZ
Answer the following quiz question for your chance to win a family pass to the 2021 Show!