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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2008
page 14 C aTTL e COUNCIL OF a USTR a LI a Y ea RBOOK 2008 emissions Trading Scheme (eTS) in australia by 2010. The debate in this critical policy area is moving fast, really fast. With the 2010 deadline looming, the government has flagged a policy framework timetable that will see draft legislation released in December 2008. australian agriculture, through the National Farmers’ Federation, is tightly engaged in the climate change debate. It is imperative that the rules that govern the eTS are fair and equitable and that policy settings do not redirect resources away from agricultural production. aNIMaL WeLFaRe animal welfare policy remains a strategic imperative for the Cattle Council as animal welfare and animal rights groups increasingly direct their attention to animal production. The transport of livestock has been one focus of animal welfare groups with the World Society for the protection of animals (WSpa) launching in February 2008 their global campaign against long distance transport. It is worth noting that WSpa is a worldwide conglomerate of more than 600 animal representative organisations; WSpa’s goal is to eventually reach 1,000 member organisations. The WSpa campaign, focussing on the long distance land and sea transport of animals, has been launched in many countries around the world. Cattle Council continues to deliver a strong, positive voice on behalf of australia’s beef cattle producers. The campaign’s attack on livestock exports was met with a well-coordinated, mature and level-headed response. The livestock export industry is a responsible, legitimate industry that has delivered real progress in terms of improved animal welfare outcomes. Significant investment within the shipping sector of the industry is a clear reflection of the confidence that exists. On the home front, Cattle Council has been heavily involved in a broad-ranging industry and government forum that is responsible for the development of National Standards for the Welfare of animals (Land Transport). This important initiative will see uniform standards and guidelines developed for the land transport of animals. Importantly, these standards will cover the land transport of all production animals. One critically important and fundamental objective of this process is to ensure the harmonisation of legislation across every state and territory jurisdiction. STRUCTURaL RevIeW Quite apart from external factors such as climate change and animal welfare policy, australian agriculture has been experiencing a climate of change of its own. The manner in which farmers are politically represented is again on the agenda. a consolidation of farm numbers, combined with the increasing trend where individuals are now generally less inclined to join organisations, has led to a rising number of State Farmer Organisations who are experiencing membership difficulties. Cattle Council is an active participant in the current review of national farmer representation. Now more than ever, farmers need a strong, well-resourced and influential voice at the federal level. We must ensue that our structures and organisations continue to evolve. We must meet the changing needs of the existing membership while at the same time enticing those currently not in the system by offering service, value, and most importantly, results.