Governments' Notion of a ‘Shared Responsibility' for Post-Border Biosecurity Management: Australian Sheep Farmers' Perspective

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:51
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Lileko LISHOMWA, Charles Sturt University, Australia
Disease outbreaks are of concern to Australian governments because of the high economic costs associated with the time Australia will be removed from trading in the global market-place, as seen with overseas animal disease outbreaks.  For this reason governments have adopted the notion of a shared responsibility into policy, which aligns with neoliberalist agendas, whereby biosecurity costs fall to the relevant actors across the biosecurity continuum, including farmers.  Currently farmers’ roles and increased responsibility for post-border biosecurity are not well articulated to them by governments.  This means that for a shared responsibility to have greater levels of success, an understanding of farmers’ biosecurity practices is necessary. 


From sheep farmers’ perspective they have the lived experience of the withdrawal of publicly funded extension services, which shows they are on their own to manage.  Regardless, farmers are busy everyday doing biosecurity to manage post-border risks, in order to be good farm managers, which simultaneously contributes to government recommended practices.  Studies of other livestock industries depict farmers as having poor levels of on-farm biosecurity management.  My study findings differ, and reveal from semi-structured interviews with sheep farmers who perceive that they manage biosecurity in much the same way as before changes to policy.  This research is useful for policy makers whose interest is to see the success of a shared responsibility.