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WoolProducers Australia calls for government action on traceability

WoolProducers Australia are calling on the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to act quickly on traceability for the sheep industry.


The increased threat to Australia of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) after recent detection in Bali, has prompted many commentators to call for the immediate application of mandatory electronic identification (eIDs) for sheep, however WoolProducers are warning that eIDs are only part of a solution for enhanced traceability.


WoolProducers President, Mr Ed Storey said, “Whilst trials indicate that eIDs deliver quicker tracing of livestock movements, which is critical for any Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) incursion response, these tags will only be effective if the underpinning systems are robust and nationally harmonised”.


“Unless the state governments, under whose remit traceability falls, come together quickly to agree to determine and adhere to guaranteed nationally harmonised business rules, then the mandatory application of eIDs is pointless. The first step in the sheep traceability reform is to agree to these rules and how they will be implemented consistently.”


WoolProducers are supportive of a fully integrated national traceability system which meets the National Traceability Performance Standards, and has policy to accept the implementation of individual digital/electronic identification of livestock only when the following system enhancements have been implemented:

  • The establishment of a nationally harmonised traceability system that operates according to nationally consistent business rules,

  • Investment into a database capable of handling all farmed FMD susceptible livestock species,

  • The creation of an equitable funding arrangement for both the establishment and ongoing maintenance of an enhanced system.

Mr Storey said, “We also understand that the mandatory use of eIDs will come with a significant cost, particularly to producers, however these costs are minimal when compared to a significant EAD incursion”.


“It must be recognised by government and the general public, that loss of market access for Australian livestock products including wool and meat due to a disease outbreak will be devastating not just to industry but to the entire Australian economy, it is therefore essential that appropriate cost sharing arrangements for the establishment and maintenance of such a system is agreed to by industry and government”. Mr Storey said.


ENDS

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WoolProducers Australia contacts:

Jo Hall, CEO

0488 554 811

Ed Storey, President

0438 309 500


About WoolProducers’ Australia WoolProducers plays a critical role in working closely with companies and entities funded by woolgrower funds including compulsory levies or fees for service.


Our mission is to develop constructive and profitable outcomes for woolgrowers nationally.


The agency is responsible for appointing a director to each of the Australian Wool Exchange and the Australia Wool Testing Authority, promoting good corporate governance and ensuring that the interests of growers are met.


WoolProducers maintains a working relationship with Australian Wool Innovation as the voice of woolgrower shareholders. It aims to contribute to AWI’s programs for the benefit of growers, promoting responsible use of levy funds and ensuring good corporate governance.


WoolProducers is the sole wool industry member of Animal Health Australia, and as such, carries a significant responsibility for decision making on behalf of the industry in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak.


As the only wool grower organisation with membership of the National Farmers’ Federation, WoolProducers is responsible for providing key policy advice on behalf of our members, and other wool growers, to Australia’s peak farm body.


As the only wool grower organisation with membership of the National Farmers’ Federation, WoolProducers is responsible for providing key policy advice on behalf of our members, and other wool growers, to Australia’s peak farm body.


WoolProducers also works closely with the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on key issues such as animal health and welfare, biosecurity, pest management control, natural resource management, drought preparedness, emergency animal disease outbreak preparedness and industry development, including research and trade.