AgForce is calling for outdated pregnancy testing laws to be changed
HIGH fertility rates are crucial to the success of all beef breeding businesses, and pregnancy testing is a key herd management tool that helps producers boost their productivity and profitability.
However, outdated regulations in Queensland and a lack of vets in remote areas are increasing costs and reducing margins for live exporters and breeding operations reliant on pregnancy testing services.
Queensland producers are at a competitive disadvantage to export producers in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, as well as domestic producers in New South Wales, where pregnancy testing by non-veterinarians is allowed and has been for years.
It is against this backdrop that AgForce has been calling for change, and we are pleased the Queensland Government has now opened a consultation process on cattle pregnancy testing and ovarian scanning.
I urge Queensland cattle producers to get involved with this process so the State Government knows the industry supports lay pregnancy testing – both manual and ultrasound technique.
Let me be very clear – this is not about taking away business from vets or reducing standards.
It is all about ensuring there is increased access to reliable and cost-effective pregnancy testing across Queensland.
We have been and will continue to work with the Australian Vet Association, the Cattle Vet Association and the RSPCA to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare are achieved.
We have already done this with the more invasive dropped ovary spaying surgical procedure, which can be legally carried out in Queensland by a layperson.
In conjunction with the AVA, we are now looking to develop a high level, sustainable system to accredit laypersons based on the principles established in the PREgCHECK program.
The pregnancy testing scheme, TestRight, seeks to promote excellence in pregnancy testing diagnosis for manual palpation and ultrasound techniques.
TestRight accreditation was developed by industry to meet industry standard for the commercial pregnancy testing practitioner.
The vet scheme PregCheck is only open to vets and is overseen by the Veterinary Surgeons Board. TestRight offers the opportunity to all practitioners who wish to pregnancy test cattle as a fee for service. The scheme is also open to producers for herd management and vets for data management.
The TestRight scheme provides transparent accountability through a trace-forward trace-back data capture system, which enables accredited testers to record all transactions, providing oversight of technicians’ services and an avenue for customer feedback.
Purchasers using the service will have the information they need to secure competency and ensure animal welfare standards are met.
AgForce is keen to work with the AVA to have a new professional pregnancy testing accreditation scheme in place before the herd returns to normal levels so producers can take full advantage and our industry can continue to grow strongly.
Before this can happen though, we need to ensure the State Government knows how important this change is to our industry.
Producers can provide comment by completing a survey anonymously at https://bit.ly/2yN4bqq, or by mailing to GPO Box 46, Brisbane, 4001, before December 14, 2018.
is a key herd management tool...
— Bim Struss
OUTDATED REGULATIONS: AgForce is calling for a change of pregnancy testing laws for cattle in Queensland.