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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2013
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2013 9 meat, at around 5kg per capita for 2012 (the world average being 42.5kg per capita), and only on average 0.7kg of sheepmeat. Australia had a small mutton and high value lamb trade to India in the early 2000s. However, in 2002 the introduction of disease certification requirements brought the trade to a halt. The Australian and Indian governments have now reached agreement to ease import restrictions. Trade has commenced with a few small shipments (4 tonne) late last year, primarily focused on the restaurant sector. Initial growth will be small, as supply chains will need to be established, but the Indian market has the potential for major long term growth. SCA will continue to look for opportunities in India and other emerging Asian economies. Disappointingly, there has been little progress in Doha and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Whilst the Korean FTA has been playing out as a beef issue, it is very important to our industry as well. We exported 4,000 tonnes of sheepmeat to Korea last year, despite the impediment of a 22.5% tariff. We have been an active participant in the FTA negotiations, and will continue to do so, but unfortunately there does not look like being any movement on trade deals in the short-term. Overall, the outlook for our industry remains very optimistic, with strong demand for our product domestically, taking about half of total lamb production, and many opportunities to expand volumes into existing and new international markets. Animal Welfare SCA is committed to supporting continuous improvements in animal welfare. In an industry first we have recently released a practical guide on sheep husbandry. Developed in conjunction with Meat and Livestock Australia, A Producers Guide to Sheep Husbandry Practices is now available online and in hard copy and features best practice techniques for a number of husbandry practices. The guide was put together following extensive consultation with a wide range of groups, individuals, welfare organisations, industry bodies, and people with expertise in sheep husbandry. It draws together information from a range of research projects and on-farm experiences. The guide aims to help producers provide good health, welfare and management outcomes for their livestock. Other Issues There was a significant change to the funding arrangements for National Vendor Declaration (NVD) books. From July 1 2013 sheep producers will be required to pay for NVD books they use for livestock transactions. For the past nine years, sheep NVDs have been available to producers free of charge with costs subsidised by the SCA from National Residue Survey (NRS) levies. The cost of funding these books has been about $700,000 per year. NRS expenditure now exceeds income, with reserve funds being used to meet the difference. SCA removed the subsidy for NVD books to allow current NRS residue monitoring programs to continue. These essential monitoring activities underpin market access for Australian sheepmeat in domestic and international markets. SCA sponsored four veterinarians to travel to Nepal late last year to take part in real- time training on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). This disease is by far the most significant biosecurity threat to Australia's livestock industries. An outbreak in Australia could have devastating consequences to our community in lost production, trade and tourism. It would also have immense social consequences resulting from movement restrictions and response activities, required during an outbreak. The current Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Sheep Industry Innovation has been very successful in achieving its goals. It is due for completion in mid-2014. It was agreed that we should apply for an extension to build on the achievements of the current CRC and maintain the momentum of improvements in the areas of genomics, meat science and on-farm sheep management and wellbeing. To that end Council facilitated the development of a bid which was submitted in mid-June. We should know the outcome towards the end of this calendar year. A YEAR IN REVIEW