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Producer Disease Reporting

Zi Yi Lim, District Veterinarian, Western Local Land Services, Broken Hill

Posted Flock & Herd January 2023


The impact of animal disease outbreaks on food and fibre industries can be mitigated through effective disease surveillance systems. These work by decreasing the time interval between disease introduction and detection. Animal disease surveillance is highly reliant upon reporting by farmers. This is particularly relevant in parts of Australia, where vast distances across sparsely populated regions pose a challenge to dedicated surveillance efforts. Furthermore, the interactions of farmers with their livestock and their inherent economic stake in the health of their animals underpins their role as a critical component of a surveillance system. However, there are several factors that can affect disease reporting by farmers.


Farmer recognition of disease

Farmer decision to report

Farmer actions-do nothing vs. treating themselves vs. contacting veterinarian or animal health authorities


  1. Gates, MC, Earl, L & Enticott, G, 2021. Factors influencing the performance of voluntary disease reporting in passive surveillance systems: A scoping review. Preventative Veterinary Medicine, no. 196, pp. 1-11
  2. Thumbi, SM, Njenga, MK, Otiang, E, Otieno, L, Munyua, P, Eichler, S, Widdowson, M-A, McElwain, TF & Palmer, GH, 2019. Mobile phone-based surveillance for animal disease in rural communities: implications for detection of zoonoses spillover. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society. B 374: 20190020., viewed 24 March 2022 dx.doi.org
  3. Brew, B, Inder, K, Allen, J, Thomas, M & Kelly, B, 2016. The health and wellbeing of Australian farmers: a longitudinal cohort study. BMC Public Health, vol. 16, no. 988, pp. 1-11, viewed 24 March 2022 dx.doi.org


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