Case Studies

Building a workforce for rapid response

19 November 2019

As New Zealand braced for a major biosecurity issue, AsureQuality was tasked with operational responsibilities for managing, developing and delivering the capability for the response. To move quickly and decisively, AsureQuality called on Agtrac.

When the response started we already had trust and confidence in the technology from Agtrac, and we knew they were the right people to do the work.

Agtrac have always had a high calibre of professionalism, expertise and patience. Often, they are training people who are not used to technology like this. They had patience to walk everyone through step by step, answer the same questions, troubleshoot over and over, and remain calm and professional.

Agtrac deserve to be acknowledged for the part they have played in this response. They have been ‘active’ behind the scenes the whole time.

Amira Mikhail, Technical Manager, AsureQuality

The challenge

It was a dynamic situation that required prompt action and an ability to assess the status of many animals quickly and efficiently. Fast access to trusted, reliable animal identification and data capture technology was essential.

Next was to upskill a large, remote newly-assembled workforce to master on-farm scanning technology. Finally, AsureQuality needed to develop data collection processes on the fly while maintaining data integrity and public confidence.

The outcome

Agtrac worked alongside AsureQuality to successfully and accurately identify infected cattle on farm.

Agtrac delivered a turnkey solution of trusted technology, comprehensive training and ongoing support including data cleansing and accuracy. This solution enabled AsureQuality to investigate all animals referred by the Ministry of Primary Industries, then deliver the most relevant, timely and accurate information essential for a successful operation.

Since the initial outbreak, hundreds of AsureQuality staff have been trained. Every AsureQuality surveillance team member is confident with the scanning technology and prepared for an active response to a similar event.

Tracing and identification has moved from an emergency response to a concerted eradication effort. With Agtrac’s constant behind-the-scenes support, AsureQuality has developed its systems massively and is prepared with advanced and tested processes to manage future outbreaks if required.

The future

AsureQuality is prepared with a tested, effective system, and trained and confident staff with expert advice on hand in the event of another sudden disease outbreak.

Agtrac remains an active partner working with AsureQuality to adapt its disease response and management systems as it evolves the programme. Agtrac provides ongoing staff training, works alongside AsureQuality to review and simplify the scanning, data collection, integrity and transfer process.

The project

AsureQuality are contracted by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) as the operational arm of the biosecurity response. MPI provided data which indicated cattle potentially exposed to infection. AsureQuality needed to develop a failsafe process to identify, record and sample these cattle with urgency.

Agtrac’s prior track record of managing data for animal identification and certification around live animal export made it an ideal and trusted partner for AsureQuality. We provided configured kits including ergonomic, long-reach, long life XRS2 EID readers to support long workdays, barcode printers, initial and ongoing training, support and servicing.  

Our onsite training, on-farm and remote support, equipped AsureQuality’s five response hubs with the expertise to manage cattle identification and complex data collection quickly and with confidence.

Our scanning technology was uniquely configured to collect data for the disease identification response and Agtrac’s agile approach allowed practical technical solutions to be developed for the emerging needs of field staff. AsureQuality’s own business language was incorporated into scanners. This ensured data collected was readily understood by remote surveillance teams and laboratory teams alike.

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