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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF)

Exercise Odysseus

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Exercise Odysseus 2014

Animal Biosecurity Branch - Biosecurity & Product Integrity 

Exercise Odysseus

A national livestock standstill exercise


If Australia had an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, a critical measure in limiting the spread would be to stop the movement of all susceptible livestock, initially for 72 hours after the first detection of the disease.

Exercise Odysseus is a series of discussion exercises and field-based activities which will be held throughout 2014. These activities will focus on issues associated with the implementation of a national livestock standstill. The exercise scenario, which will be consistent across the exercise program, is based on a hypothetical outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, initially detected in Queensland.

Exercise Odysseus is aimed at enhancing national (government and industry) capacity to prepare for and implement a national livestock standstill in response to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

The objectives of the exercise are to:

  • assess national, jurisdictional and industry arrangements for implementing and managing a livestock standstill
  • assess national, jurisdictional and industry decision-making processes in declaring and implementing a national livestock standstill
  • assess mechanisms for communicating a national livestock standstill and their effectiveness
  • assess coordination within and between government and non-government agencies and industry, prior to and during a national livestock standstill.

More than 40 discussion exercises and field activities will be conducted at different times throughout 2014 in each Australian state and territory.

The NT will hold a number of stakeholder workshops for those involved in the livestock industry culminating in two discussion exercise in Alice Springs and Darwin on 30 July and 13 August respectively. These exercises will consider previously identified issues with specific emphasis on long distance transport and cattle export.

These activities are an exercise only and are not in response to a real outbreak, and there will be no requirement to stop the movement of livestock during the exercise.

Exercise Odysseus will involve hundreds of people from government and industry organisations who have varied disease response roles.  These include high level decision making, biosecurity operations, planning, logistics, administration and providing public information.

Exercise Odysseus is a two-year program and is part of a broader set of initiatives that aim to better prepare Australia for to respond to an emergency animal disease outbreak.

Key Dates for NT Components

10th June

Stakeholder Workshop

Tennant Creek – Barkly House

12th June

Stakeholder Workshop

Alice Springs – AZRI conference Room

17th June

Media / Comms and Legal Workshop


18th June

Stakeholder Workshop


20th June

Stakeholder Workshop

Katherine - KRS

30th July

Discussion Exercise

Alice Springs

13th August

Discussion Exercise



Resources / Downloads


Frequently Asked Questions Livestock Standstill
Essential information for everyone involved with Livestock
[read more]


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