Work­shops ex­plain biose­cu­rity changes

Myrtleford Times - - News -

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.

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