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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2008
page 77 C aTTL e COUNCIL OF a USTR a LI a Y ea RBOOK 2008 In 2006/07 this work was recognised by a trifecta of prestigious awards including the gilruth prize for ‘meritorious services to veterinary science’, the gatton gold Medal for ‘services to veterinary science in the beef industry’ and in January, 2007 he was made a Member of the Order of australia for ‘services to the beef industry through research into the reproductive physiology of tropical beef cattle, and to veterinary education’. The spread of the drought in recent years has created a very challenging environment for the registered cattle industry as it has for commercial beef producers. Thus, it was an outstanding achievement for aRCBa to be able to announce at its 33rd annual general Meeting that beef cattle registrations for the 12 months to December 31, 2006 were at their highest level in ten years. In the 2007 Cattle Council Yearbook I advised that developing australia’s bovine genetics export industry was aRCBa’s number 1 priority. Significant progress was made towards this objective during 2007. For example, a draft set of genetics exports Standards for european and British Breeds was published by the International Livestock Resources and Information Centre (ILRIC) and used to certify heifers for export to Russia. The contribution of the angus Society of australia in allowing their standards to be used as the platform for the draft national standards is recognised. Throughout 2007, aRCBa pursued rigorously the vision of having an active australian Cattle genetics export agency developed under ILRIC. This concept received wide industry support at a packed industry workshop hosted by aRCBa in Brisbane early in august, 2007. Just prior to this Workshop, aRCBa worked closely with ILRIC to develop an application to the australian government for funds to support the development of export standards for breeding cattle across all sectors of the beef industry and educating the cattle industry about the use of these standards. aRCBa’s persistence with this vision was vindicated in October, 2007 when the Government advised that $550,000 would be provided to ILRIC as per the objectives of the grant application. The Board of ILRIC is being restructured to recognise the work that it is doing to develop bovine genetic exports. aRCBa is currently represented on ILRIC’s Board by Mr alex McDonald and the Cattle Council of australia and the australian Livestock exports Council will also take up positions on ILRIC’s Board. The ILRIC project for development and implementation of the National Cattle genetic export Standard and Quality assurance Certification process has a Steering Committee for monitoring purposes. aRCBa will be represented on this Steering Committee by Mr peter vincent. aRCBa remains of the opinion that australia could become the stud farm for the world’s cattle industry provided we back that objective with strict quality-control procedures over genetics exported and a responsive after-sales service. aRCBa sees considerable opportunities for combining the latest gene marker technology with traditional pedigree and performance (phenotype) recording to produce marker-assisted estimated Breeding values (eBvs). The first such eBvs are expected to be produced for tenderness in mid 2008. australia is making a huge investment in discovery of gene markers in the Beef CRC III project. The CRC has released draft proposals for the way gene markers should be commercialised. This will be the subject of vigorous debate within the beef industry in the months ahead. aRCBa will be active in suggesting to the Beef CRC and its collaborating organisations some practical strategies for commercialisation of DNa markers. The australian Registered Cattle Breeders’ association (aRCBa) welcomed Dr Keith entwistle aM as its president from March 1, 2007. Dr entwistle has held many senior positions in the livestock industries. The australian Registered Cattle Breeders association Dr PA. Rickards OAM, Executive Director