May 27, 2021
Changes in tick protocols at cattle saleyards, due to be enforced from June 1, have been described as a “mess” by Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett.
southburnett.com.au understands livestock agents first learned about the changes in procedure during a webinar in late April.
They were told they would be phased in within days – from May 1 – provoking alarm in some quarters.
The changes mean cattle which have not been pre-treated for ticks will need to be dipped and then held at the saleyard for four days.
Previously, cattle from ticky country heading to abattoirs or feedlots could be dipped at the saleyard and then visually inspected the next day.
The extra holding time at the saleyards means extra costs as well as logistical issues arranging transport after mid-week cattle sales.
The changes follow a review of current practices by Biosecurity Queensland, rather than a change in legislation.
This review allegedly identified “inconsistencies” in risk minimisation.
“The integrity and management of the tick line is important to all cattle producers,” Mr Perrett said.
“The fact Labor’s Agriculture Minister won’t front up and take responsibility for this mess is shameful, and smacks of arrogance.
“Let’s remember Labor has forced these major administrative changes with no consultation.
“Cattle producers and stock agents were merely told these changes would be imposed on them from May 1.”
Industry sources have queried the need for the changes, saying there was no evidence of tick outbreaks under the old procedure.
“The Department has previously acknowledged there has been no breaches of biosecurity that has required changes to the administration of stock travelling to controlled entities such as abattoirs and feedlots,” Mr Perrett said.
“I’m calling on the Minister to be open and transparent with livestock producers and confirm if there is any evidence to suggest why he seeks to make these changes.
“Make no mistake, these administrative changes will further disadvantage Queensland stock agents and producers and are another example of Labor losing control of agriculture in Queensland.”
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has also queried the changes, lodging a Question on Notice with Agriculture Minister Mark Furner:
With reference to cattle tick risk minimisation requirements (RMRs). Will the Minister advise:
(a) During the recent Biosecurity Queensland review, what issues were identified in the saleyard system that have prompted changes for saleyards in the tick infested zone,
(b) When consultation began with industry groups and primary producers to notify them of the impending changes,
(c) Who was consulted,
(d) Were the changes strictly implemented May 1, or is there a transition period, and
(e) What are the specific changes to the RMR?
Mr Furner must reply to the Question On Notice by June 11.