A report from a wool industry emergency animal disease (EAD) response exercise has been finalised outlining key actions to be undertaken to better the wool industry’s position in the event of an EAD incursion.
The report, compiled by WoolProducers Australian (WoolProducers) and Animal Health Australia (AHA), follows a two-day desktop exercise - Exercise Argonaut - conducted in October2020 with the entire domestic wool supply chain.
WoolProducers CEO, Ms Jo Hall said “WoolProducers as the signatory to the Emergency Animal Response Agreement (EADRA) on behalf of the wool industry, take our role and associated responsibilities including industry preparedness, very seriously.”
“Exercise Argonaut involved representatives from the entire domestic supply chain as well as state and Commonwealth government representatives, as we feel it is really important that key stakeholders understand what will happen to the industry if we are ever faced with an EAD outbreak”.
Along with representatives from WoolProducers and AHA, participants represented industry groups including the Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors; Australian Wool Exchange; Australian Wool Innovation; Australian Wool Testing Authority; National Council of Wool Selling Brokers; National Farmers Federation; NSW Farmers Association; Victorian Farmers Federation; Wool Industries Australia and AWH, along with representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, NSW Departmenft of Primary Industries, Local Land Service and AgVic.
Exercise Argonaut focused on a fictional disease outbreak in southern NSW on a wool enterprise, spread over three properties and was developed to meet a number of objectives to help improve wool industry preparedness and response activities.
“We believe that Exercise Argonaut was very useful for the Australian wool industry in terms of clarifying roles and responsibilities in an EAD outbreak”.
“While Exercise Argonaut demonstrated that the framework for a successful wool industry response already exists, the final report made a number of useful recommendations on how to strengthen these arrangements, including refining communications both in a response and in peace-time, the need for WoolProducers to establish an industry EAD Working Group and the need for enhanced wool traceability system”. Ms Hall said.
Several of the observer participants from other industries have since indicated that they will undertake similar training, having seen the value of undertaking such an exercise.
WoolProducers are working with AHA to develop a workplan for the implementation of these actions and will work with other industry stakeholders going forward to ensure the wool industry is as prepared as possible for an EAD.
WoolProducers Australia contacts: Jo Hall, CEO
02 6110 2067
About WoolProducers’ Australia WoolProducers plays a critical role in working closely with companies and entities funded by woolgrower funds including compulsory levies or fees for service.
Its mission is to develop constructive and profitable outcomes for woolgrowers nationally.
The agency is responsible for appointing a director to each of the Australian Wool Exchange and the Australia Wool Testing Authority, promoting good corporate governance and ensuring that the interests of growers are met.
WoolProducers maintains a working relationship with Australian Wool Innovation as the voice of woolgrower shareholders. It aims to contribute to AWI’s programs for the benefit of growers, promoting responsible use of levy funds and ensuring good corporate governance.