New biosecurity laws roll out today

FARMERS and other livestock owners will need to familiarise themselves with Queensland's new biosecurity laws from today.

The changes were two years in the making and they should mean less red tape with legislation now 130 pages shorter and 87 pre-existing fees reduced to 33.

The rollout of easily identifiable cattle tick-free and tick-infected zones is one of the key amendments.

There is also a new animal registration scheme, expanded certification and auditing arrangements and more flexible requirements to make moving horses, cattle and other animals much easier.

Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson said the updated legislation offered a "modern risk-based approach" because the state faced increased biosecurity threats from "increased global travel, rising trade in animal and plant products and diversity of land use".

"In the face of these increased risks, the Biosecurity Act 2014 improves our response capability by enabling biosecurity officers to respond immediately to emerging situations while testing is under way," Ms Donaldson said.

"The act recognises that all of us share responsibility for biosecurity and that all of us need to ensure we do not spread pests, diseases or contaminants."

Ms Donaldson said Biosecurity Queensland had developed new forms, procedures, guidelines and systems to "ensure readiness to meet client needs".

"Thousands of web pages have been updated," she said.

"Officers have engaged with those who will be affected by the changes through industry meetings, events and tailored information and training." - ARM NEWSDESK



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