A biodefence framework for Western Australian cattle production enterprises

Author Identifier

Deborah Evans


Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Science (Interdisciplinary Studies)


School of Science

First Supervisor

David Brooks

Second Supervisor

Michael Coole


Prevention strategies to address biosecurity threats in the Australian agricultural sector primarily focus on naturally occurring and accidental events, with minimal focus on malicious threats. This research explored the extent to which the Australian biosecurity framework is underpinned by preventative security measures using Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) theory as its reference framework.

The study found the existing biosecurity framework in Australia lacks preventative security, constituted by practices which are primarily aimed at preventing ‘pathogenic offenders’ (naturally occurring and accidental threats), rather than proactive and preventative security measures to mitigate acts originating from malicious ‘human offenders’ (deliberate threats).

These findings identify a deficit in the Australian national security and biosecurity frameworks, establishing that current biosecurity recommendations at an industry and primary production level do not account for malicious actors. However, the study found that such preventative measures can be embedded at the farming level using SCP techniques. Consequently, the study developed an indicative SCP framework toward biodefence of agriculture in alignment with international biodefence strategy. This framework converges biosecurity and security as a bilateral approach to mitigating naturally occurring, accidental and deliberate biosecurity threats.

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