Beef 2015

Beef 2015 forum will focus on genetic material export malaise

Jon Condon, 13/04/2015



CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Genomix genetics auction will be held on Thursday May 7. The auction will be held on Wednesday, May 6, from 4-6pm in the Hegvold Stadium


ADDRESSING the large imbalance seen within the Australian beef industry between import and export of genetic material will be the subject of an industry forum during Beef 2015 in Rockhampton.

The Global Export Bovine Genetics Forum will be held in the event’s VIP International Business Lounge on Thursday, May 7.

The Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association last year commissioned a report which highlighted Australia’s under-performance in the field of global export of beef and dairy cattle semen and embryos.

Australia imports up to fifteen times as much dairy and beef semen as it exports, and nearly three times as many embryos, the report found.

Don Nicol

Don Nicol

Report author, well-known cattle breeding and genetics consultant Don Nicol, said while Australia was the second-largest beef exporter in the world, enjoying the least-constrained market access conditions of any major beef producing nation, it was surprising that Australia was not also a major exporter of genetics.

His report, co-funded by ARCBA, Trade and Investment Queensland and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, suggested this was counterintuitive, when the natural and comparative animal health advantages that Australia has to offer are considered.

In 2012, the US exported about $142 million worth of bovine semen around the world, while Canada, with half the cattle population of Australia, exported $88 million worth, Mr Nicol’s report said.

In contrast, Australia for the same year generated probably no more than $1.5 million in export sales.

The report suggested that if Australia wanted to improve its genetics exports, a critical first step would be a national meeting of all interested parties to map out a way forward.

The Beef 2015 event in Rockhampton, featuring the largest gathering of seedstock and genetics industry stakeholders in the nation, will provide a valuable follow-up for that discussion to take place.

Industry stakeholders involved in any way in the export of cattle semen or embryos are encouraged to attend. The meeting will involve state and federal governments, industry and breed associations, stud breeders interested in exports, veterinarians and embryo transfer practitioners and artificial breeding companies and semen re-sellers. Stakeholders involved in live export of breeding females are also invited to attend, in order to develop a ‘Total Genetics Exports’ approach.

Speakers will include:

  • Don Nicol author of the ARCBA report and well-known genetics consultant
  • Seedstock breeder Prue Bondfield, from Palgrove Charolais
  • Genetics scientist Dr Carol Millar, who will provide a Ruminant Genetics Trade Advisory Group (RGTAG) update
  • Peter Finnan from the Queensland Department of Agriculture
  • ARCBA president Malcolm Foster, who will discuss the development of an economic study document that outlines the potential worth of the industry for MLA and government re future funding and support.

Speakers will be followed by a panel session featuring leading ET practitioner and vet, Dr Ced Wise, Malcolm Forster, Don Nicol and Carol Millar.

Concluding the forum will be an hour-long open discussion session to 5pm, followed by a meet and greet with international guests.


When: 2pm – 5pm Thursday May 7

Where: QantasLink VIP Business Lounge, Beef 2015

The Genomix genetics auction will be held on Wednesday May 6 from 4-6pm in the Hegvold Stadium 

Click here for details





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