Workshops explain biosecurity changes
MYRTLEFORD agribusiness co-operative TAFCO late last month convened three workshops – at Rosewhite, Eurobin and Oxley – to encourage cattle producers to learn about changes to Meat and Livestock Australia’s biosecurity planning regime.
The changes came into effect on October 1.
For producers there are two in particular that the MLA says cannot be ignored.
The first is that they were required to have a biosecurity plan for their herds and properties in place by that date.
The second is that MLA requires them to be aware of a new approach for managing on-farm biosecurity risks posed by Johne’s disease, rather than relying on regulation.
MLA is a private corporation with 50,000 livestock producer-members who have entitlements in the company.
It delivers research, development and marketing services to Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat producers in exchange for a livestock sale levy paid by producers.
It also works in collaboration with the federal government and wider red meat industry with a mission improve producer profitability, MLA biosecurity changes came into effect on October 1. sustainability and global competitiveness.
The MLA said the majority of cattle producers were accredited to the national livestock production assurance (LPA) system as most meat processors only purchase from those with accreditation.
If a farmer uses what the MLA calls a national vendor declaration then that producer is LPA-accredited.
But to maintain it each producer in the country had to document a farm biosecurity plan for each property under their control by October 1.
The MLA said the changes were designed to ensure the Australian red meat and livestock industry maintained its global reputation as a world leader in food safety, integrity and traceability, giving producers the evidence to stand by what they sell.
“LPA-accredited producers commit to best practice on-farm management which meets the stringent requirements of export markets,” the company said.
“The program provides an assurance to domestic and global customers of the integrity of Australian red meat and enhances its reputation for safety and quality, giving Australia a key advantage and point of difference against international competitors.”
The new system requires producers to register every three years and pay an on-line fee of $66.
If a producer does not use the internet they will have to pay an additional $22 to have the fee processed by MLA.
A regular on-line assessment and on-line learning modules are available to support producers’ understanding of their on-farm requirements
The changes were launched to coincide with a further roll-out of electronic national vendor declarations (eNVD), giving producers the option to replace their NVD books with a free, automated on-line system.