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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2014
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2014 43 Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA Inc. (PGA) These include pastoral leaseholders and free hold farmers through the full spectrum of ownership from some of Australia’s largest corporate pastoral groups, to family-owned companies and trusts and individual landholders in Western Australia. The PGA believes in the benefits of competition and the reduction of government regulation within the agricultural industries. The PGA Livestock Committee specifically represents the interests of Western Australian beef, sheep meat and wool producers in remote and rural areas. The PGA has recently collaborated with the Sheepmeat Council to deliver the first Cattle Council of Australia/ SCA joint Producer Forum in Kojonup, Western Australia. PGA Vice President Digby Stretch participated as part of the afternoon panel discussion session. These forums provide an opportunity for policy input and raise the profile of the peak industry councils. They let producers meet and discuss policy, allow MLA to provide information on its R&D and marketing programs and explain the roles of the peak industry councils. Previously the PGA participated in the process to settle on the revised OJD National Management Plan for 2013– 2018. The PGA was pleased to see that the new plan represents a more deregulated approach to OJD nationally, and places the decisions for managing the disease on each individual business. This allows businesses to adopt risk management strategies appropriate to their individual needs and is the approach the Western Australian sheep industry agreed to adopt some time ago. The PGA also welcomes the SCA Research Project desktop analysis to provide insight into the viability of establishing a closed supply chain from Australia to Indonesia for live sheep. The PGA believes there could be significant opportunities for creating genuine partnerships with Indonesia to build a fully integrated supply chain. Such a supply chain, operated by Indo-Australian companies, could add value to Australian sheep meats for re- export to other countries throughout Asia and the Middle East. The main challenge of 2013 was responding to the Animal Welfare standards and guidelines process. The debate over what ought to be standards, or guidelines, or what ought to be in legislation or regulation is complicated, intricate and involved. The fact that this process was so quickly moved from the here and now to the regulatory back burner at a change in government shows that animal welfare is an issue of public policy driven by political sentiment. In the final analysis, this regulatory method of implementing and maintaining animal welfare principles without a market driver is unfair to producers who will have to absorb the cost. Public policy should be funded by the public purse. The recent opening of the Katanning Livestock Centre is a welcome investment that will increase buyer numbers, encourage competition and improve animal welfare and occupational health and safety. The PGA notes that ultimately, the government of the day makes the rules by which society and business must abide. There is an old saying. “in times of peace, the churches are empty”. Consequently, the importance of organisations such as the PGA should not be overlooked. With their proud and long history and organized structure, they can exert a beneficial influence at difficult moments In general, the PGA expects to continue to strongly support the live export of sheep to overseas markets through 2014. The recent announcement of new animal health protocols with the Islamic Republic of Iran is a welcome forward step in re-opening markets with an old trading partner. In particular, the PGA will continue to support the current Western Australian sheep ID system that uses ‘born on property’ and ‘introduced on property’ (transaction) tags with mob based movement (MBM), reported to the NLIS computer database. It is a cost effective, mature and successful system of life time traceability of livestock for exotic disease purposes. The PGA does not support electronic ID for sheep by government edict; there must be a market demand. Ian Randles PGA Policy Officer The PGA is a non-profit industry organisation established in 1907, which represents primary producers in both the pastoral and agricultural regions in Western Australia. Digby Stretch, PGA Livestock Committee President
Sheepmeat 2015 2016