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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2015
YEARBOOK2015 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA 68 The attle Committee was heavily involved in lobbying the Federal Government on the acquisition of Primo by JBS. Following the ACCC’s approval of the acquisition, the Committee pressured the Treasurer to set aside the ACCC’s recommendations, and secured a commitment to place conditions on the approval of the sale, namely that JBS will need to keep the Scone abattoir operational and will need to maintain the current level of third party custom killing at that abattoir. The main issue is that depletion tests have shown that BPQ residues take about 120 days to leave the meat and fat and even longer to leave the liver and kidneys. The committee moved the following motion, which was passed at the 2014 May EC, ‘NSWFA does not support the introduction of BPQ for treatment of theileriosis unless there is a primary and secondary form of identification where the secondary source is a permanent physical marker.’ The issue is now with the Industry Systems and Food Safety subcommittee of CCA, which met on May 26. As part of its advocacy efforts, NSWFA also ignited a call for a Senate inquiry to examine the impact of market consolidation in the red meat processing sector on farm gate prices. A motion was passed in the Senate on the 18th May formally referring an inquiry to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee. NSWFA conducted three consultative focus groups with growers, and worked in conjunction with Cattle Committee to put together a submission for the Inquiry. NSWFA also utilised third-party competition law expertise to inform the legal argument of the submission. On Wednesday 2 September, Association President Derek Schoen addressed the Senate Committee at a hearing in Albury. The NSWFA submission addressed concerns that the current red meat market is beset by market failure and plagued with a lack of integrity, transparency and accountability. NSWFA called for government to act, by fixing the sale yard system, enshrining independence in the AUSMeat grading system, examining the effectiveness of competition law and ensuring that farmers are treated as equal players in the supply chain by investigating the issue of kill space. NSW Farmers NSW Farmers’ (NSWFA) Cattle Committee consists of eight passionate producer members from around the state working to represent the best interests of NSW cattle producers on key issues that affect our industry. Local Land Services (LLS) and the distribution of livestock officers NSWFA secured a commitment from the NSW Liberals and Nationals Memorandum of Understanding to contribute a minimum of $4 million over four years in additional resources to biosecurity and extension services within Local Land Services. The MOU stated “This will be announced as part of the finalisation of the strategic plan for Local Land Services (LLS) advisory services, which will be completed after consultation with NSWFA”. The Committee continues to engage with the LLS. In May 2015, NSW Farmers partnered with LLS, and the LBN to conduct a biosecurity workshop in Singleton. It is anticipated that this workshop will be the first of several conducted throughout the state over the next year. Coordination with the Dairy Committee regarding the 2015 review of the national Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) program The Cattle and Dairy Committees worked throughout the latter half of 2014 to produce a joint position regarding the best avenues to reform management and regulation of BJD in NSW. In February 2015, the review of the National BJD Strategic Plan Review commenced – a submission to which was made by NSWFA.. Through participation in several meetings with AHA, NSW DPI and ADF, the review is revealing a push from industry groups and farmers for deregulation and removal of quarantine measures. The Cattle Committee will continue to follow the review closely as it enters the final stages, with a concluding forum to be held later this year to present the recommended management approach. BILL STACY Chair, Cattle Committee