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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2015
YEARBOOK2015 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA 32 Consultative Committee's Report The Cattle Council’s consultative committees had a very productive 2015 and the changes made under the new constitution continue to result in benefits for industry. A number of important policy matters that have been the focus of the Committee over the past 12 months: 1. Re-introduction of the three-hole punch as a permanent identifier. Many in the industry will remember the three-hole punch being used to identify cattle treated with 'Strain 19' as part of the brucellosis eradication campaign. The punch is now to be used to mark cattle treated with Siliurum. A Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) vaccine that has risks for export-market access for live cattle in that it can cause false-positive test results for bovine Tuberculosis (now exotic to Australia). 2. Review of National BJD Program – after more than a decade and a half, the current BJD program is being overhauled to reflect the need for lower government intervention and greater industry management of the disease. 3. Resolution of funding for Red Witch Weed, Striga asiatica, eradication. While a small matter in funding terms for the grass-fed cattle sector ($10,000 per year for 10 years), agreement to join with non-livestock sectors (sugar and grain) in the eradication of a weed was a first for the cattle sector. Committee Members: • Melinee Leather • Alex McDonald • Andy Wither • Angus Atkinson • Amanda Giles • Blythe Calnan • Bob Barwell • Cameron Daley • Chris Wallace-Smith • Faye Tuchtan • Kathy Lovelock • Kim Haywood • Milton Watters • Nick Keatinge • Peter Hall • Scott Parry • Chris Gunn • Warren Clark • Dr Paul Cusack Industry Systems and Food Safety The Committee was chaired by Peter Hall, a Cattle Council board member and Queensland cattle producer. Mark Harvey-Sutton, Cattle Council Policy Director, provided outstanding support to the committee, being The key role of the committees is to provide policy advice to the Cattle Council board on issues relating to their designated areas. Providing strategic direction and oversight of levy expenditure of all the service providers – Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the National Residue Survey (NRS), is the other primary responsibility of the committees. In 2015 this role comprised extensive work in the development of various industry strategic plans. Members of the committees had significant influence in the development by Red Meat Advisory Council of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 and subsequent Beef Industry Strategic Plan 2020, which will steer industry’s overall direction and expenditure for the coming five years. Cattle Council has four consultative committees, focused on the areas of: • Animal Health Welfare and Biosecurity • Industry Systems and Food Safety • Research Development Adoption and Sustainability; and • Marketing Market Access and Trade. The release of MISP2020 will result in reforms to the committees to align their work with the four strategic pillars; Consumer & Community Support, Market Growth & Diversification, Supply Chain Integrity and Efficiency, and Productivity & Profitability. This close alignment will ensure the committees can easily provide direction to service providers and deliver outcomes on industry priorities. Animal Health Welfare and Biosecurity After many years as chair of the AHW&B Committee, Paul Saward from Tasmania was replaced by Melinee Leather, a producer from Central Queensland. The Committee membership comprises a well-balanced mix of gender, age, experience and production regions. Committee members were well supported in their work, with Justin Toohey fulfilling the secretariat role.