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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 A snapshot of industry-funded on-farm R&D Producers operate complex businesses in an environment characterised by highly variable seasons and markets. It is therefore essential the Meat Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Research and Development (R&D) programs deliver new tools and technologies that support producers to become more productive. boost the productivity and sustainability of the entire red meat supply chain. M MLA R&D is aligned with the Federal Government’s national and rural research priorities. Where appropriate, MLA collaborates with government, the industry – including the Southern Australia Beef Research Council (SABRC) and the North Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC) -and other research organisations (including rural R&D corporations) to avoid research duplication and ensure joint approaches to common problems taking Care of our animals Industry’s commitment and proactive approach to improved animal welfare standards is ongoing. Early in 2008, pilot project of the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines (DPIF&M) Truck Driver’s Animal Handling Course was held in Darwin. The pilot was very successful and received full support from Queensland Livestock Transporters’ Association. The major Cash Cow pilot project in northern herds was reviewed and approved to proceed into Phase II subject to a satisfactory review of the efficiency of data collection at the next milestone meeting. The project team has identified most of the 77 properties that are required for Phase II. The “BeefSpecs” carcase specification calculator was released in October 2008 under a joint Beef CRC/MLA banner. Briefing forums were held for the Cattle Council and Sheepmeat Council in preparation for conversion of national cattle and sheep management codes into national legal standards including summary of key policies, international standards and scientific knowledge. David Palmer officially launched the new PIGOUT® feral pig bait in May 2008, marking the end of a successful 46 LA invests in producer levies and matching Federal Government funds R&D relevant to the livestock industry, both on and off farm, to 4-year project developing a protective bait to reduce non-target poisoning with 1080 baits. The shelf-stable, “sausage” bait, which does not require refrigeration, also reduces health risks associated with handling 1080 poison, and is the first product for the Invasive Animals CRC produced with support from MLA. aCCelerating genetiC gains Accelerating the current rates of genetic improvement is fundamental for both the livestock industries to enhance their competitiveness in the increasingly tough global environment of declining terms of trade and increased consumer expectations. Our investment in the Co-operative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies investigating maternal productivity continues to collect data to allow more precise estimates of the relationship between maternal and carcase traits to improve BREEDPLAN indexes and genetic progress. Early outcomes of the Maternal Efficiency Project also run by the Beef CRC indicated some unfavourable relationships between female reproductive efficiency and selection for extreme leanness in carcase attributes. 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 46 5/5/09 8:00:51 PM