PLAN­NING PUZ­ZLES

Pro­duc­ers look for answers about changes to biose­cu­rity rules

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Reports by Erica Mur­ree erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au

BOOMPA stud breeder Hay­den Beres­ford (pic­tured) is pleased pro­duc­ers have been given a fur­ther three months to pre­pare and lodge their biose­cu­rity plans.

But for him the ex­ten­sion came too late to nom­i­nate for the Ekka in Au­gust.

The li­mousin breeder said he had de­cided not to at­tend as nom­i­na­tions closed last week

“This was mainly due to the new re­quire­ments as at the time our biose­cu­rity plan was to be com­pleted by June 30,” he said.

Hay­den, 16, said he had read pages of in­for­ma­tion.

“I have ques­tions about when I show cat­tle,” he said.

“When brought back to the prop­erty they have to be quar­an­tined for three weeks.”

AgForce has pushed for more clar­ity on re­quire­ments.

QUEENS­LAND cat­tle pro­duc­ers now have an ex­tra three months to pre­pare biose­cu­rity plans af­ter An­i­mal Health Aus­tralia and the Cat­tle Coun­cil of Aus­tralia agreed to be flex­i­ble on new re­quire­ments for man­ag­ing Johne’s dis­ease.

At Boompa near Biggen­den, Mal­colm and Sharon Beres­ford op­er­ate a reg­is­tered feed­lot and run com­mer­cial cat­tle.

Their son Hay­den has his own Bony Villa Li­mousin Stud.

Mal­colm Beres­ford said they reg­is­tered the feed­lot’s biose­cu­rity plan two years ago through AusMeat.

“We are hop­ing this reg­is­tra­tion will now over­lap what is be­ing now asked of us for this biose­cu­rity plan,” he said.

“I think there are still many curly ques­tions to be an­swered.”

Hay­den Beres­ford said he had de­cided not to show his cat­tle at the up­com­ing Bris­bane Ex­hi­bi­tion.

“This is mainly due to the new re­quire­ments,” he said.

“I had to have my cat­tle nom­i­nated last week.

“At that time any biose­cu­rity plans had to be com­pleted by June 30.”

AgForce cat­tle pres­i­dent Bim Struss said many pro­duc­ers were only now be­com­ing aware of new biose­cu­rity obli­ga­tions.

“Changes to biose­cu­rity laws have shifted a lot of the costs and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for man­ag­ing pests and dis­eases onto pro­duc­ers,” he said.

“The new na­tional ap­proach to Johne’s dis­ease in cat­tle has seen most states re­move reg­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing here in Queens­land, with An­i­mal Health Aus­tralia de­vel­op­ing a Johne’s Beef As­sur­ance Score for cat­tle pro­duc­ers to man­age on-farm risks them­selves.

“How­ever, the NT and WA have de­cided to leg­is­late min­i­mum en­try re­quire­ments that in­clude a biose­cu­rity plan, and in the case of WA, herd test­ing.

“In ad­di­tion, a biose­cu­rity plan will also soon be re­quired for pro­duc­ers to be ac­cred­ited un­der the Live­stock Pro­duc­tion As­sur­ance pro­gram over­seen by Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia.

“There has been a lot of con­fu­sion and frus­tra­tion about the var­i­ous new re­quire­ments. Many pro­duc­ers have been con­cerned they will not have a biose­cu­rity plan in place by June 30, mean­ing their J-BAS could drop to zero and take years to build back up.

“AgForce ap­proached An­i­mal Health Aus­tralia and Cat­tle Coun­cil of Aus­tralia urg­ing flex­i­bil­ity and more sup­port for pro­duc­ers, with th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions now agree­ing to a three-month ex­ten­sion be­fore the new Johne’s dis­ease man­age­ment frame­work takes full ef­fect.

“De­vel­op­ing a biose­cu­rity plan will just doc­u­ment the good work pro­duc­ers are al­ready do­ing, but pro­duc­ers need more time to pre­pare.”

To fill out the biose­cu­rity sur­vey be­ing con­ducted by AgFroce to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of cur­rent on-farm biose­cu­rity knowl­edge go to sur­vey­mon­key.com /r/JPJDX8R.

PHOTO: ERICA MUR­REE

CHANGES AFOOT: Hay­den Beres­ford, who op­er­ates his Bony Vila Li­mousin Stud from his par­ents’ Boompa prop­erty, will not be show­ing his cat­tle at the up­com­ing Bris­bane Ex­hi­bi­tion due to ques­tions over the biose­cu­rity re­quire­ments.

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