2 March 2010
Joint media release
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke
Chairman Australia Dairy Industry Council Mr Wes Judd
Australian dairy exporters will benefit from improved access to overseas markets after every dairy herd in the nation was found to be free from Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (EBL), an occasional infectious viral disease of dairy cattle.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the entire Australian dairy herd had been tested to meet the Australian criteria for Provisional Freedom from EBL.
“Every time Australia receives disease-free status, new markets open up around the world,” Mr Burke said.
“This means one thing for Australian dairy farmers: more customers.
“This is another success story for the Australian dairy industry which is already exporting to South East Asia, Japan and the Middle East.”
Chairman of the Australia Dairy Industry Council and the National Program Advisory Group for
EBL Eradication, Mr Wes Judd, said the successful program reinforces Australia’s high animal health status.
“The success of this program maintains Australia’s reputation as a reliable exporter of quality dairy products and dairy cattle for breeding,” Mr Judd said.
Australia has achieved Provisional Freedom, which is the first step towards unconditional EBL Freedom and will require a further three years of annual monitoring.
The testing was part of a national eradication program by the Australian Government, state and territory governments and the national dairy industry to declare the Australian dairy herd free from EBL.
The virus was first reported in Australia in 1966. While EBL is largely an unseen disease, the virus can adversely affect production and can lead to reduced productive capacity in dairy cattle. There is no link between EBL in cattle and risks to human health.
The Australian dairy industry began the EBL Control Program in 1995.