including nutrition, health and disease management, vaccine
development, biosecurity and reproduction.
At 63 per cent, Australia has one of the highest incidences of
pet ownership in the world, with an estimated 25 million pets in
the country. With more pets living in Australia than people, it is
clear that pets are an extremely important part of our lives.
Due to our changing lifestyles, advances in veterinary medicine
and increased choices in products and services, pet owners are
spending more on their pets, despite the dog and cat population
The pet product and accessory market, which includes
healthcare products and medicines, is estimated to be
worth over AU$1.6 billion. Additionally, pet owners spend
approximately AU$1.7 billion each year on veterinary services.
There are many opportunities for research in the animal health
sector, such as pet obesity, pancreatitis and diabetes. LSQ
Member, Elanco, has "established itself as an innovator in
the companion animal health sector", helping pets live longer,
healthier and higher-quality lives through the development of a
range of innovative products.
Biosecurity is the process by which the risks and impacts to the
economy, the environment, plant and animal industries, social
amenity or human health associated with pests and diseases
Australia’s isolation as an island nation has played an important
role in the country’s biosecurity. However, globalisation is
increasing the trade of goods and movement of people across
the world, subsequently increasing our exposure to the spread
of pests and diseases. There has been a noticeable increase in
biosecurity events over the past decade, and these incidents are
likely to become more frequent as our climate and environment
change and globalisation continues.
Biosecurity is extremely important to Queensland, as pests and
diseases can have major economic impacts on our primary
industries and threaten our unique biodiversity. They can also
pose an extreme threat to human health, as over the past two
decades, 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases have
had the ability to be transmitted from animal to human (called
In 2014, the Queensland Government enacted new Biosecurity
legislation, adopting a world class biosecurity system with
specialised diagnostic, quarantine and treatment facilities
and developing the capability of Queenslanders to undertake
biosecurity activities and deliver biosecurity services. Biosecurity
Queensland, a subdivision of the Queensland Government’s
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, “coordinates the
government’s efforts to prevent, respond to, and recover
from pests and diseases that threaten the economy and
Many major biosecurity threats come from neighbouring
countries and have the potential to cripple many of our export
industries if we are unable to prevent invasion. For example, if
an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease was to be detected
anywhere in Australia, it would almost immediately cost the
Queensland economy several billion dollars.
Recognising the importance of biosecurity to the State's
economy and health, the Queensland Government has
established the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory (BSL) in
Brisbane. The BSL engages in a wide variety of veterinary
diagnostic testing, as well as identification and investigation of
new and emerging diseases and surveillance and diagnosis of
diseases in the livestock industries.
There are many opportunities for biotechnological applications
and innovations to contribute to the protection of Queensland’s
people, animals, environment and industries. These include
developing technologies to enhance detection, understanding
the characteristics and transmission mechanisms of infectious
agents and developing advanced surveillance systems.
Section 3: Life Sciences Queensland Ltd Sub Sectors
Life Sciences Queensland Limited – www.lsq.com.au