As we are now all too aware, the current COVID-19 situation is presenting every one of us with a raft of challenges.
At present there are many parts of the country in lockdown and, unfortunately, there are likely to be more outbreaks and lockdowns in the coming months.
I want to assure you that TBA is in regular engagement with state and federal governments, and has been since the start of the this crisis.
I also want to make clear that all governments regard breeding activities as part of the agriculture sector, and therefore an essential industry.
However, in order to undertake your business there may be protocols that you and your employees need to observe.
TBA has developed a number of documents to help you comply with these protocols.
COVID-19 Industry Guidelines
COVID-19 Safe Plan Template For Farms
COVID-19 Safety Plan Template For Freight And Transport
I strongly encourage all farms, no matter where you are based, to read the TBA Guidelines and then go to your state government’s COVID site to read their information and register your business as COVID Safe if applicable (links provided below). Many of you will have already developed your own farm COVID Safe Plan, but if not, the TBA template document may be helpful, while each state government have also developed templates for your use.
As with last year, the movement of mares across state borders is something that concerns many breeders. Again, freight companies are well set up to move stock and navigate any protocols.
For those wishing to move mares with farm-owned trucks or vehicles, we have developed in-principle agreements with the NSW, VIC and QLD governments relating to movement of mares. When these have been formally signed off by the relevant departments we will provide more details (likely early next week).
I am also conscious that many breeders in NSW will be concerned with moving stock between areas that have restrictions, especially with many parts of the Hunter being placed into lockdown today. Disappointingly, it has also just been announced that Victoria will go into a seven day lockdown.
Since the Hunter lockdown was announced, TBA has been in contact with the NSW state government to explain the needs of the breeding industry.
To ensure that drivers moving stock are compliant with all protocols, our advice is that all farms register as COVID Safe with the state government (including getting a QR code), they develop their own COVID Safe Plan, and complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for Freight and Transport for each relevant trip.
Any driver or staff moving stock between these areas in lockdown should carry a copy of their farm’s COVID Safe Plan as well as an up to date COVID 19 Safety Plan for Freight and Transport for the journey they are on.
From our conversations with all state governments – and the experience of 2020 – we are confident that drivers or staff moving stock inside state borders will meet all relevant protocols if they have these documents in their possession.
As I mentioned earlier, we are hopeful of providing clearer guidelines for the movement of mares between states early next week.
As a general point, it is also worth stating that all governments are very concerned – and therefore are more risk averse – due to the high transmissibility of the Delta strain of COVID-19. Because of this, I think we should expect governments to move very quickly in imposing lockdowns and changing protocols when outbreaks occur.
We will continue to try our best in representing your interests and ensuring governments hear the concerns and needs of the breeding industry.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any concerns or queries.
CEO Thoroughbred Breeders Australia
Please click on the relevant link below for information on how to make your business COVID Safe: