Biosecurity research

Biosecurity research is part of ABARES’ applied social research and analysis. Reports have been prepared for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, other government agencies, research and development corporations, and industry bodies.

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Who talks to whom about marine pest biosecurity? An analysis of the Australian marine pest network

Published: 20 August 2019

Marine pests can cause significant negative social, ecological and economic impacts to infrastructure, marine habitats, water quality, marine industries and coastal amenity values. Maintaining an effective marine pest biosecurity system that minimises the risk of marine pests to Australia is a priority for the Australian Government. The Department of Agriculture commissioned ABARES to investigate the current state of Australia’s marine pest biosecurity stakeholder network by means of a social network analysis.

Key Issues

The findings of the study provide a broad understanding of the current marine pest stakeholder network by identifying key players in the network and relationships, and patterns of interaction, between them. The study showed that involvement and interest in marine pest biosecurity is extensive and complex. A wide range of government and non-government organisations and groups participate in the network. The analysis identified opportunities to tap into existing stakeholder networks and build on current structures to further improve network function.

Who talks to whom about marine pest biosecurity? An analysis of the Australian marine pest network

Recreational boat operators’ self-management of biofouling in Australia

Published: 24 July 2018

Overview

This report presents key results from a national survey of 1,585 recreational boat operators about their vessel biofouling management actions. The purpose was to inform a national communication approach to reducing the risk of marine pest translocation via biofouling of recreational boats in the Australian marine environment.

Biofouling is a term for the growth on a boat's hull that can move invasive pests and diseases from one marine environment to another, which is a biosecurity risk.

Australia's national approach to domestic marine pest biosecurity relies on voluntary uptake of the national biofouling management guidelines by recreational vessel operators, to prevent and manage biofouling growth.

Key Issues

The study found that a large proportion of recreational boat operators already undertake a range of effective biofouling management actions on a regular basis, with more than 60 per cent using best-practice approaches, such as regularly cleaning the boat hull and niche areas of the boat, renewing anti-fouling coatings each year and capturing biofouling waste after cleaning.

The majority of respondents demonstrated considerable interest in doing the right thing to protect the environment. The analysis presents opportunities to develop messaging that could be used as part of future engagement strategies with recreational boaters to influence behaviour voluntarily and promote best practice biofouling management activities.

Recreational boat operators’ self-management of biofouling in Australia

Pest animal and Weed Management Survey: National landholder survey results

Published: 2 May 2017

The Pest animal and Weed Management Survey: National landholder survey results report presents the key results from a national survey of 6470 agricultural land managers undertaken by ABARES in 2016 about pest and weed management on their property and local area.

The survey respondents represented land managers across broadacre, horticulture, dairy and other livestock (poultry, deer, horses, bee-keeping) industries, each with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5000 per year or more, across 53 natural resource management regions in Australia.

The data were collected through a combination of hardcopy postal and online versions of the survey. Approximately 77 per cent of responses received were via the postal survey and 23 per cent via the online survey. A response rate of 50.1 per cent overall was achieved.

This report presents results on a range of topics from the survey including:

  • level of awareness of pest animals and Weeds of National Significance (WoNS)
  • impacts of pest animals and weeds
  • pest animal and weed management activities on the property and in the local area
  • information sources and participation in local support networks.

Pest animal and Weed Management Survey: National landholder survey results

Wild dog management 2010 to 2014: National landholder survey results

Published: 27 July 2015

Wild dog management 2010 to 2014: National landholder survey results presents results and analysis from a national survey of Australian sheep and cattle landholders in late 2014, in areas affected by wild dogs. The results are combined with data from a similar 2010 survey to assess longitudinal changes in wild dog impacts and management activities. Around 1,010 landholders participated in the 2014 survey.

The survey examined landholders' perspectives on wild dog problem severity and distribution, personal and economic impacts and collective management actions. The study also quantifies factors that influence the effectiveness of wild dog management groups and their achievement of outcomes.

Wild dog management 2010 to 2014: National landholder survey results

An integrated assessment of the impact of wild dogs in Australia

Published: 24 April 2014

An integrated assessment of the impact of wild dogs in Australia evaluates the economic, environmental and social impacts of wild dogs in Australia. It assesses the costs and benefits of investing in wild dog management to prioritise future investments using a cost-benefit analysis framework. Integrating the economic impacts of wild dogs on Australian agriculture with non-market environmental and social impacts enabled a more accurate estimation of the return to the entire Australian community of investments to control wild dogs.

An integrated assessment of the impact of wild dogs in Australia

Social impacts of wild dogs - a review of literature

Published: 29 October 2013

This review forms part of a larger Australian Wool Innovation-funded project on a landscape-scale approach to managing wild dogs in Australia. Specifically, it covers existing research on the social impacts of wild dog attacks on livestock, including social and psychological impacts on individual farmers and livestock enterprises.

Based on this research, it identifies major sources of tension between stakeholders, and discusses possible collaborative approaches to managing wild dogs that may help resolve these tensions.

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Social impacts of wild dogs - a review of literature PDF PDF Icon761.1 MB

Participatory wild dog management: views and practices of Australian wild dog management groups

Published: 27 July 2015

Participatory wild dog management: Views and practices of Australian wild dog management groups examines the features of Australian wild dog management groups, particularly in terms of landholder participation and collaboration, to identify what helps or hinders the groups in achieving coordinated and effective wild dog management. The study was based on interviews with representatives from 30 groups across Australia.

Participatory wild dog management: views and practices of Australian wild dog management groups

Potential socio-economic impacts of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Australia

Published: 11 October 2013

Australia is free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), a highly contagious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer and camels. International experience shows an outbreak of FMD results in trade bans on livestock products to export destinations due to the risk of transmission of the disease to livestock. For large exporters, this results in product being diverted to the domestic markets, as the meat is safe for human consumption, reducing product prices.

This report shows an outbreak of FMD in Australia is expected to generate very large adverse economic impacts to both producers and other industries inside and beyond the outbreak area; with financial losses and eradication activities also having social impacts. The revenue losses to producers are larger than previously estimated by the Productivity Commission (2002). The higher figures in this study are a result of additional expected market access requirements from trading partners which in turn results in a longer expected time out of the market and a greater loss of market share.

Findings suggest that these economic and social impacts can be reduced by the choice of eradication strategy - with results indicating that vaccination could play a beneficial role where spread is rapid in high density production areas. Impacts can also be reduced by resuming market access quickly where feasible, improving response preparedness (though surveillance, eradication arrangements and livestock tracing) and the use of communication and support before and during an outbreak.

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Potential socio-economic impacts of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Australia PDF PDF Icon953.9 MB

Biosecurity and Small Landholders in Peri-urban Australia

Publication date: 3 October 2007

This report explores the land uses, land management practices and motivations of small landholders in these regions.

The research focused on identifying practices that may give rise to exotic pests and diseases currently not established in Australia.

Small landholders in peri-urban areas are highly diverse and partake in a wide range of land uses; however they largely fall into two categories: ‘lifestylers’ and ‘farmers’.

The report provides recommendations for understanding and communicating with these landholders, as well as recommendations for future research.

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Biosecurity and Small Landholders in Peri-urban Australia PDF PDF Icon1001.7 MB

Biosecurity awareness and peri-urban landholders: a case study approach

Publication date: 30 January 2006

This study focuses on peri-urban and rural lifestyle landowners as a possible biosecurity risk group, and reports on literature findings and case studies conducted in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

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Biosecurity awareness and peri-urban landholders: a case study approach PDF PDF Icon1081.2 MB
Last reviewed:
20 Aug 2019