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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2012
6 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2012 ian McColl President SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA President’s Report Broadly speaking, biosecurity is a set of measures for protecting our industry from infectious diseases at the national, regional and farm level. For Sheepmeat Council, biosecurity is about preventing the introduction of infectious diseases to properties and prevent the spread of the disease from an infected property to an uninfected property. To achieve this we need to have a robust Australian border biosecurity and sound on farm biosecurity practice. Sheepmeat Council devotes a lot of time working on biosecurity and the range of issues that comes with it. The importance of animal health cannot be understated. It underpins our ability to be commercially competitive in the international arena. Australia has an excellent reputation for its animal health standard essential if we are to continue to be one of the world's premier export nations. Producers contribute 0.18 % from the sale of each animal to Animal Health Australia (AHA). These levies fund AHA to manage and facilitate industry and government collaboration on animal health and welfare and biosecurity issues. It helps Sheepmeat Council inform producers about the importance of being biosecurity aware on- farm in an effort to maintain the health of our national flock. AHA work on a range of exotic and endemic diseases such as Foot and Mouth (FMD), BlueTongue, Screw worm fly, Ovine Johnes Disease, footrot to name a few and some of their work is discussed in this Annual Muster. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) operates alongside AHA directing levy funds into research and development with programs that not only look at exotic and endemic diseases that threaten our industry but also the management issues associated with health and welfare aimed at keeping the flock healthy and profitable. There is no doubt that the past twelve months has thrown up a range of challenges for the sheepmeat industry. Lamb prices are running well below last year's record levels, we have dealt with ongoing live export issues and the introduction of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), the NLIS versus RFID debate has continued, there has been a growing emphasis on FMD preparedness and we headed into the 2012 fiscal year with exports for lamb exceeding domestic consumption for the first time ever. Even with these challenges, total Australian lamb exports for the calendar year have reached a record high despite the high Australian dollar. The future is looking bright for the sheepmeat industry. Producers are always striving to become more efficient and productive, but at the same time they have to work through challenges around land use, energy, climate change, sustainable agriculture and conservation. Pressure on producers is substantial and is set to intensify as the community becomes increasingly focused on food security and animal welfare. Collaboration with stakeholders, especially governments and other industry advocacy groups will continue to be a focus of my role as President of the Council. The Annual Muster is just one way that the Sheepmeat Council of Australia provides information to sheepmeat producers and those who have an interest in our industry. We hope you find things of interest and that we encourage you to get more involved in the issues which affect the way we do business. This edition of the muster is themed ’Biosecurity on Farm’ - perhaps the most important topic that we as farmers have to face today if we are to ensure the longevity and security of our industry.