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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2010
59 YEARBOOK 2010 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA The Association's Cattle Committee set their priority issues for 2009/2010 in September 2009. The Committee identified Animal Health, National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), Animal Welfare and Meat Marketing as some of their key priority areas. FOOD AMENDMENT (MEAT LABELLING) ACT The Food Amendment (Beef Labelling) Act 2009 was passed in the NSW Parliament in late 2009. The Act introduced changes to the marketing, packaging and labeling of beef in NSW, including legislative backing to the use of the AUS-MEAT language. While supporting the intent of the Act and the concept of truth in labelling, the Association's Cattle Committee had concerns with the Act, including the Minister's powers under the Act and the inclusion of the terms "budget", "low grade, "low quality" and the impact that the words would have on consumers when purchasing meat. As a result of industry concerns in regard to the ramifications of the Act, the NSW Food Authority established the Beef Labelling Reference Group to consider the implementation of the Act. The Association has a representative on the Reference Group and will continue working with industry and the Food Authority to ensure the best result for our Members. » BSE Association Members have expressed major concerns following the Federal Government's announcement to change in Australia's Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) food safety policy for imported beef and beef products. Following the Government's announced changes, Association Members developed policy at the 2010 March EC meeting, stating: That a full Import Risk Analysis and In-Country inspection is undertaken for any prospective importing country, before any importation of beef and by-products can commence. This would allow for any atypical outbreaks that could possibly occur in the importing country. That no beef or beef by-products be imported into Australia without the importing country having the equivalent The NSW Farmers' Association (the Association) continues to represent NSW beef producers to ensure that they operate in a fair and profitable environment. production protocols that Australian producers are subject to (eg. Full lifetime traceability, residue testing, food safety declarations, etc). EFFLUENT There has been growing concerns through local Councils and road users in NSW regarding effluent spillage from trucks during transportation of livestock. The Association has been working with the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) and the Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALTA) to develop strategies to reduce effluent spillage from trucks. These include preparation of livestock prior to travel and education of livestock producers. The Association is working to avoid the situation where effluent tanks are required to be fitted to trucks. ANIMAL WELFARE At the 2009 NSW Farmers' Association Annual Conference, a Taskforce was developed to review the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines -- Sheep and Cattle. The Taskforce has concerns about the inclusion of the word "competent" in the Standards and the ramifications this would create for producers. The question remains on how the term "competent" as included in a Standard, will be included in legislation. The Association's Taskforce will continue working through the Standards and Guidelines documents to ensure the best result for Members. ANIMAL HEALTH The Association provided a submission into the Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW) Review of Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) management in NSW. The Review aimed to identify the next steps for the BJD program and determine whether BJD zones in NSW can be removed. The Association recommended that I&I NSW move towards a more risk-based approach for managing BJD and supported the removal of BJD zoning in NSW. The Association is waiting on the recommendations from the review to be released. The Committee has a representative on the NSW BJD Summit Executive, which provides an avenue for Members to raise concerns. » NSW Farmers' Association