AgForce Cattle President Will Wilson has described Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner’s decision to allow certified producers to able to conduct pregnancy tests and ovarian scanning on their cattle as a major win for Queensland’s $5 billion cattle industry.
An AgForce statement released today said last week’s announcement was the culmination of more than five years of patient advocacy by AgForce started by former Cattle President Bim Struss and continued by Mr Wilson.
Mr Wilson said the decision would result in more flexibility for producers and better animal health, especially in remote areas.
“Pregnancy testing is a key tool for herd management that can help producers to lift fertility rates and in turn the productivity and profitability of their enterprises, especially those involved in live export,” Mr Wilson said.
“This is especially true for producers in North Queensland.
“Accuracy is critical to get a good return on your investment – it’s important for productivity, which affects profitability,” he said.
“We very much appreciate the work the State Government has done to recognise the needs of producers while balancing the interests of other stakeholders in the industry, such as vets.
“Now we have to ensure timely development and adoption of an industry-approved accreditation scheme.”
Mr Wilson said it was important to note the objective was to improve herd management, agribusiness profitability and animal welfare, not to reduce standards, take shortcuts or do away with vets.
“It is all about ensuring there is increased access to reliable, timely and cost-effective pregnancy testing and improved animal welfare,” he said.
“We now need to work hard with others to put a reliable industry-based accreditation scheme in place as soon as we can.”
Appropriately enough, Minister Furner made the announcement at an event last week to commemorate twenty years of successful advocacy by AgForce.
The Minister made particular note of Mr Wilson’s determination as key factors in the Government’s decision.