Dog compound expansion work now completed

Dogs

The Stage 2 Build expansion work for the dog compound has now been completed, and the new section of the compound was handed over to the department on 27 March 2017. The Stage 2 Build work has added 180 more dog pens to this compound, bringing the total capacity to 400 pens.

The dog compound now contains 400 pens in total.

There are now also additional exercise yards and support areas within the dog compound, including additional veterinary inspection rooms and a suite of new isolation pens.

The additional exercise yards within the dog compound.

Some upgrades have also been made to the new dog pens based on feedback from the Stage 1 Build, including new door handles and air flow grills. As a result of the Stage 2 Build expansion work, the total size of the dog compound is now comparable to the Melbourne Cricket Ground!

The upgraded dog pens with new door handles and air flow grills.

Ruminants

The Ruminant compound build is also progressing well and on track for handover to the department during May 2017. Once completed, the ruminant compound will include a large shed with a modifiable internal fencing system and six large turnout paddocks with fixed shelters for the housing of imported ruminants.

One of the turnout paddocks, with the fixed shelters shown in the background.

In addition to this, there will be a series of other facilities to support biosecurity functions including a truck wash area, alpaca holding area and inspections office. Once handover of the ruminant compound has occurred, the department will undertake a short period of operational commissioning with domestic alpacas to ensure this compound is fit for purpose before imported stock will be accepted at the Mickleham PEQ facility.

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Cat compound now completed

Stage 2 construction works at the Post Entry Quarantine facility in Mickleham have been progressing at a rapid pace over the last few months, with the completion of the cat compound and continuing work on the dog, ruminant and avian compounds.

In December 2016, the Stage 2 Build expansion work for the cat compound was completed, and this compound has now been handed over to the department. As a result of this expansion work, the total capacity of this compound has now been increased to 240 cats.

The 12 month operational commissioning phase for the cat compound has now started, and it will go live and start accepting imported cats during 2018.

The cat compound will now house 240 cats.

The Stage 2 Build expansion work for the dog compound has also continued, with the outer wall of this compound being erected, and the individual dog clusters and pens contained within being progressed significantly.

Once this construction work has been completed, the capacity of this compound will be doubled, with a total of 400 dogs being housed there. The Stage 2 Build expansion work for the dog compound is expected to be completed during March of this year, with the operational commissioning phase for this compound also commencing at this time.

The outer wall of the dog compound goes up.

Construction of the ruminant compound has commenced, with a projected date for completion in May of this year. Clearing of the land has begun, and the building foundations and plumbing are currently being laid. Further construction of the turnout yards, waste store area, bulk food store and the administrative site office will also continue throughout the rest of February and March.

Clearing of land for the ruminant compound begins.

Construction of the external and internal walls (building envelope) and roof of the avian compound continues, with a projected completion date of July 2017. When completed, this compound will replace the current avian PEQ facilities located at Torrens Island and Spotswood, combining the live bird and hatching egg areas within a single building envelope. The capacity of the live bird area will be increased substantially, with up to 300 pigeons being housed there. In addition to this, the hatching eggs area will have three times the capacity of the current avian PEQ facilities.

Construction of the avian compound external walls and roof continues.

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Avian compound takes shape

Stage two construction works at the Post Entry Quarantine facility at Mickleham are continuing with the avian facility and second stage of the dog compound starting to take shape.

At the avian compound the external and internal walls have been going up over the past few weeks.

This compound will combine live bird and hatching egg capabilities. There will be a series of individual and completely separate containment areas, all with separate access.

Once complete, the capacity of the live bird areas will increase with the total occupancy for pigeons raised to 300 in two separate areas. The hatching eggs area will be three times the current capacity.

The avian compound will be a Quarantine Containment Level 3 facility to mitigate the biosecurity risks associated with avian imports. It will be completed and operational by 2018.

The first phase of the dog compound was opened at the end of 2015 and has been accepting dogs since November.  A second phase of works will double the capacity for imported dogs meaning this facility, when complete, will house a total of 400 dogs.

These works are progressing well with the slab already poured and the contractors preparing to start putting up walls.

All kennels feature heating and outdoor exercise yards. The dog compound also features a range of support areas including veterinary examination rooms, food preparation spaces, support rooms and grassed exercise yards complete with shade sails. To assist with noise mitigation, the compound has been surrounded by a four-metre wall with internal acoustic panels to absorb noise. The ceilings of the kennels have also been treated with acoustic panels.

The internal and external walls of the avian compound go up

The second stage of construction of the dog compound begins

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Phase two works underway

The second phase of the build of the new Post Entry Quarantine facility in Mickleham has started.

Construction of the avian facility is now underway following the recent ground breaking at the site where the compound will be located. The Avian facility will be completed by 2018 and will replace current facilities at Torrens Island and Spotswood.

The facility at Mickleham will combine live bird and hatching egg capabilities in a single building envelope. The envelope will contain a series of individual and completely separate containment areas, all with separate access.

The combined floor space of the three hatching egg areas represents more than a three-fold increase in the Torrens Island capacity and is capable of further expansion.

The capacity of the two live bird areas has also increased by almost 100 per cent with the total occupancy for pigeons raised to 300 in two separate areas. Individual areas are able to be used in isolation or occupied concurrently by one importer, depending on the size of the import consignment.

The entire post entry avian quarantine compound has been designed to Quarantine Containment Level 3 to mitigate the biosecurity risks associated with avian imports. The design is complemented by operational procedures to protect each consignment from cross-contamination.

Construction is also about to begin on the second stage of the cats and dogs facility and work on the ruminant facility is also starting.

Operations for horses, cats, dogs and plants are have been underway at the new post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility since November 2015.
 


Works start at the ruminant compound

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Animal operations run smoothly as works continue

The new Post Entry Quarantine facility welcomed its first intake of cats and dogs on 23 November 2015 and then horses and plants in December 2015. Three months on, operations are running smoothly and the facility has already played host to around 800 animals arriving into quarantine.

Of that, there have been almost 100 horses, 525 dogs and 220 cats.

Horses imported so far include Thoroughbreds, Friesians and German Ponies. The facility has two identical horse compounds with a capacity of 40 horses each. The compounds are supported by modern veterinary and exercise facilities.

The most popular breeds of dogs imported through Mickleham so far has been Labrador, Jack Russell Terriers, Poodles, Shih Tzu and Golden Retrievers as listed below. The dogs are housed in one of the 226 kennels which include floor heating, veterinary examination rooms and exercise yards. Phase two of building the dog compound will take capacity up to 400 animals.
 

Breed Number imported
 Labrador  40
 Jack Russell Terrier  33
 Poodle  26
 Shih Tzu  22
 Golden Retriever  18
   

Of the 220 imported cats there has been an interesting range, most cats were domestic cats but the facility has also welcomed some exotic breeds including Siamese and Norwegian Forest Cats.  There are currently 120 cat pens, stage two works will increase this capacity to 240.  The top five imported breeds in the past three months were:

 

 Breed Number Imported
 Domestic Cat  115
 British Short Hair  16
 Burmese  11
 Siamese  8
 Norwegian Forest Cat  6

The facility is now hosting its first plant imports with stone fruits and a variety of ornamental plants currently in quarantine.  The newly imported plants join 1500 domestic root stocks for stone fruit, apple, pear and citrus which were transferred from the existing facility at Knoxfield and citrus cultivars from Eastern Creek, Sydney.

Further development of the site under stage two works include the development of the ruminant and avian compounds. These works have commenced and are scheduled to be completed by 2018.

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Official opening ceremony of Australia’s new post entry quarantine facility

The new Mickleham post entry quarantine facility in Victoria has been officially opened by the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP.  The facility will be available to provide post entry quarantine for bees, cats, dogs, horses and plants this year.
 

Official Opening Plaque

 

The opening ceremony was attended by industry and officials involved with the consultation, development and construction of the facility. The opening event included the unveiling of a plaque and a tour for interested stakeholders.

Set on 144 hectares on the northern outskirts of Melbourne, the new facility will cater for the import of birds (pigeons), fertile hatching eggs of poultry, bees, cats, dogs, horses, ruminants (mainly alpacas) and plants. The site is more than five times the size of the largest existing facility.

The construction of the new facility has been planned in two main phases, the first phase which has now been officially opened includes the bee facility, plant compound, horse compounds and the first stage of the dog and cat compounds. These compounds will be operational this year.

The second phase is the building of the avian and ruminant compounds, and stage two of the dog and cat compounds which will be open in 2018.
It has been designed featuring modern laboratories, cat and dog kennels with high standards of animal welfare, technically sophisticated design for the avian and plant compounds, horse compounds that provide greater flexibility, a high level of security and public zones for visitors. Importantly, the facility also has space for future growth.

The Mickleham post entry quarantine facility is an important element of Australia’s biosecurity system that will support the management of high risk plant and animal imports into Australia.

Preparations are well underway for the first arrival of dogs and cats in November.
 

Overview of the plant compound

 

The completed reception building
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Dog and cat facility hosts first stay

The dog and cat compounds of the new Mickleham facility have concluded operational commissioning this week. The commissioning tests the new facility with domestic animals as a final check to ensure it is ready to accept international arrivals.

The Department of Agriculture worked with the Lost Dogs’ Home to have 22 dogs and cats stay at the facility for a period of a week. Some of the staff became so attached to their charges that they have already applied to adopt them.

The cats and dogs enjoyed the highest welfare standards while the department was able to trial and streamline its procedures in both the dog and the cat compounds.
 

Charlie enjoying the underfloor heating at the new PEQ dog compound.

 

The facility has climate controlled kennels, exercise yards and comfortable accommodation.

Thousands of cats and dogs are imported into Australia each year. Since 1993, an estimated 80 000 cats and dogs have been imported into Australia.

 

Augustus settling in to the new cat pen.

 

The new post entry quarantine facility will manage the risk of exotic pests and diseases establishing in Australia. Rabies is the most significant disease of concern associated with the import of cats and dogs, primarily due to the often fatal consequences of rabies virus infection in all mammals, including humans.

Post entry quarantine also serves to ensure there are no exotic ticks on cats and dogs as ticks can also carry diseases. The 10 day quarantine period, in addition to testing conducted offshore prior to import, allows biosecurity and veterinary officers sufficient time to assess that the animals are healthy and are not carrying diseases or parasites.

The PEQ facility will start taking online bookings next month and then open progressively, taking cats and dogs from 23 November.

 

Hudson keeping watch.

 

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Confirmed dates for commodity intakes at the new post entry quarantine facility

The Australian Government is investing in the future of Australia’s biosecurity system through the design and construction of a new post entry quarantine facility in Mickleham, Victoria. The facility will be officially opened in October 2015 and will begin to accept its first commodity intakes.

Commodity intakes at Mickleham have been staggered across October through to December to ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to services. The availability of the facility for the first commodity intakes are:

  • bees from 19 October
  • cats and dogs from 23 November
  • horses from 30 November
  • plants from 1 December 2015.
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Once fully completed in 2018, the new facility will replace all of the department’s existing quarantine facilities at Eastern Creek in NSW, Torrens Island in SA and Knoxfield and Spotswood in VIC. As the leases on these facilities expire over the next three years, imported animals and plants will stop being accepted at these facilities.

The first facility to close will be the Eastern Creek Quarantine Station which will cease to accept animal arrivals after 9 November 2015.

If you require assistance or further information about booking your plant or animal into the new post entry quarantine facility, please see the Department of Agriculture website for importing cats and dogs, horses, plants and bees. For further information on the design of the facility, visit the facility design page.

 

The facility is close to completion with landscaping underway across the site.

 

Importing horses

The horse walker and yards close to completion in July 2015.

 

Australia is recognised internationally as a producer of outstanding horses for a wide variety of disciplines and events. Australia attracts worldwide interest and investment in these events, including the Melbourne Cup. Horses are imported into Australia for breeding to diversify local genetic stock and to compete in sporting events including racing, endurance and dressage.    

Horses can be imported to Australia from over 25 approved countries, including Canada, Japan and Iceland. These imported horses can be a considerable risk to Australia’s horse industry, other agricultural industries and human health, due to the exotic diseases and pests they may carry. Horses also pose a significant plant quarantine risk as the seeds of weed species may be present in stalls, equipment and animal faeces. To make sure Australia remains free from these exotic pests and diseases, strict quarantine requirements exist for imported horses and any people or goods in contact with the horse.

Imported horses are required to undergo both pre-export and post-entry quarantine. Before arrival in Australia, horses must undergo pre-export quarantine for a minimum 14 days at a Department of Agriculture approved facility in their home country. Upon arrival in Australia, horses complete post-entry quarantine for a minimum 14 days. Post-entry quarantine can be completed at either the commonwealth-operated post-entry quarantine facility at Eastern Creek, New South Wales or the privately-operated quarantine-approved facilities at Werribee, Victoria and Canterbury Park, New South Wales.

The new post-entry quarantine facility being built at Mickleham in Victoria will replace the existing commonwealth-operated facility at Eastern Creek. The new horse facilities are split across two independent compounds. Each compound will include stables to accommodate up to 40 horses, a surgery, turnout yards and a horse walker, as well as a truck drop off and wash station and an amenities building. The structural components of the facility are completed, and fit out of the stables will complete the construction of the facility in July 2015. When the facility is completed, it will be tested using domestic horses to ensure it meets the department’s biosecurity and welfare standards.

The Mickleham horse compound will commence operation in late 2015. Once operating, all horses destined for commonwealth-operated quarantine will be required to enter Australia through Melbourne Airport and complete post-entry quarantine at the new facility.  

For further information on importing live horses to Australia, click here. For further information on the design of the horse compound, visit the facility design page.

 

The external structures of the horse compound, including the stables, truck drop off and wash station and amenities building.

 

The fitted out horse stalls in July 2015.
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Post entry quarantine supporting agricultural industries

Australia is recognised worldwide as a producer of clean, green and disease and pest free agricultural products. This is reflected in the demand for Australian exports, valued at $41 billion in 2013–14. Australia’s strong biosecurity system and favourable biosecurity status supports Australian producers to access international markets. Assisting farmers to access premium markets is a priority for the Government, as outlined in the recently released Agricultural Competitiveness White paper.

Australia’s post entry quarantine regulations, including the new post entry quarantine facility, located at Mickleham in Victoria, are a key component of Australia’s biosecurity system. Post entry quarantine is the final step in the safe import of live animals and plants into Australia. The new facility will consolidate government owned post entry quarantine sites into one modern facility.

The new post entry quarantine facility will provide quarantine services for plants, cats, dogs, bees, horses, ruminants and avian species. It will strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system through early detection and prevention of the exotic diseases and pests that can have significant effects on productivity, profitability and market access of Australian farmers. The recently released Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper demonstrates the importance of a strong biosecurity system in maintaining Australia’s favourable pest, diseases and weed status.

Outbreaks of significant pests and diseases such as Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and highly pathogenic avian influenza are estimated to have a significant impact on production, profitability and market access. Australia is currently free of FMD, which has helped maintain access to premium red meat markets. Without an effective biosecurity system to manage the risk of an outbreak of FMD, the annual profits of beef, dairy and sheep enterprises would be decreased by 8-12 per cent. Post entry quarantine reduces the risk for producers of an outbreak of an exotic disease or pest and as a result helps to maintain Australia’s biosecurity status and access to international markets.

For further information on the Agricultural Competitiveness White paper please visit the website. To learn more about the need to safeguard Australia’s biosecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.

 

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