Animal biosecurity

Related information

Notifiable animal diseases

Animal Health Surveillance newsletter

AHS newsletter

Read about animal health in NSW in this quarterly report.

Animal welfare

The Animal Welfare Branch promote the welfare of animals and administer the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 and the Animal Research Act 1985.

Testing for equine influenza

The successful equine influenza (EI) control and eradication campaign was the largest emergency disease response ever undertaken in Australia.

Observing yarded cattle

Vets, stock owners and livestock industry workers are all part of the NSW surveillance network. Good surveillance detects any problems early and ensures the quality and safety of NSW livestock and livestock products.

Examining a wild bird

Biosecurity has a vital role in safeguarding Australias unique environment and wildlife.

What is animal biosecurity?

Animal biosecurity is all about protecting the economy, human health and the environment from problems associated with pests and diseases of animals.

NSW DPI and Local Land Services (formerly Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, formerly Rural Lands Protection Boards) are partners in the delivery of animal biosecurity. They work with livestock owners, livestock industries, rural communities and other stakeholders to ensure the quality and safety of NSW livestock and livestock products.

NSW Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Strategic Plan 2015-2018

The NSW Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Strategic Plan 2015-2018 guides priority activities to safeguard the NSW economy, environment and community from diseases and pests that affect animals, as well as improve animal welfare outcomes.

Zoonoses – animal diseases that can infect people

Zoonoses are animal diseases that are transmissible to humans. About 75% of emerging human infectious diseases are thought to have come from animals, including wildlife. Most at risk of contracting a zoonosis are people in close contact with animals or animal products. This includes veterinarians, farmers, abattoir workers, shearers, wildlife carers and, of course, pet owners. Visit the zoonoses page for more information.

Biosecurity, wildlife and feral animals

Some diseases of wildlife and feral animals can infect domestic animals and humans. For example, bats can carry Hendra virus, which can cause a fatal disease in horses that can, in turn, infect humans. Wild water birds can be a reservoir for infection for avian influenza ('bird flu'). Visit the biosecurity, wildlife and feral animals page for more information.

The role of veterinary practitioners

Vets are a crucial link in the biosecurity chain. They collect surveillance information, give expert biosecurity advice to livestock owners and industries and provide a vital front-line resource in the fight against important animal diseases. The veterinary practitioner page gives practitioners up-to-date information on issues such as influenza in pigs, hendra in horses and theileriosis in cattle.

The role of livestock producers and stock owners

Livestock producers and owners are in the best position to protect their own animals, and those of their neighbours and the wider livestock industries, by adopting good biosecurity practices.

Simple measures such as:

  • checking your own animals regularly and reporting anything unusual;
  • introducing only healthy animals and initially isolating them from your own stock;
  • taking care when agisting; and
  • keeping fences secure;

are all good biosecurity practices.

The NSW DPI livestock page provides producers with information about topics such as:

  • enterprise management
  • health and disease
  • livestock movements
  • animal welfare.

Reporting emergency animal diseases

Emergency animal diseases can have serious consequences for trade, production or human health. If you suspect an emergency animal disease or see sympoms or deaths in animals that may be due to an emergency animal disease, dont delay! Ring the 24 hour hotline:

  • Emergency Animal Disease Hotline 1800 675 888


If you have a particular query or comment, please email the NSW DPI's Biosecurity Branch on