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Beef briefs: Livex review brought foward | States fight fake meat

Beef Central, 25/05/2018

Livestock Export standards review brought forward

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has announced the review into the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock will be brought forward. The review was due at the end of 2019 but will now be finished by the end of this year. The committee chair, Dr Chris Back, has notified the Department of Agriculture he is unable to continue in the role of Chair, due to the shortened timeframe and competing time commitments. Minister Littleproud thanked Mr Back for his contribution thus far, and said a replacement Chair will be announced in the near future.

Missouri legislature passes bill defining meat

Missouri is set to become the first US state with legislation that will prohibit a product not derived from harvested livestock to be marketed as meat. Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) Executive Vice President Mike Deering expects other state cattle organizations to lead legislation in their respective state. “This isn’t a Missouri issue. This is about protecting the integrity of the products that farm and ranch families throughout the country work hard to raise each and every day,” said Deering. “I never imagined we would be fighting over what is and isn’t meat. It seems silly. However, this is very real and I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. We are beyond pleased to see this priority legislation cross the finish-line.”

VFF stands up for naturally grown meat

Victoria’s peak livestock body is urging the industry and government to act immediately on the mislabelling of meat substitutes, to protect the livelihood of farmers and the expectations of consumers. Earlier this month the VFF Livestock Council resolved to support peak industry bodies and government in reinforcing legislation to ensure that meat vocabulary is reserved for protein products derived from the traditional and natural husbandry and slaughter of livestock.  “It’s unacceptable to mislead consumers by exploiting meat vocabulary when marketing a product that is not derived from traditional livestock production ” said Leonard Vallance, President of the Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group. “Livestock farmers have a right to protect the sovereignty of meat production, a tradition that goes back to the dawn of time.” In France earlier this year, a legislative amendment was tabled to address certain commercial practices misleading for the consumer. These practices associated terms such as ‘steak’, ‘fillet’, ‘bacon’ and ‘sausage’ with alternative protein products that are not solely, or not at all, composed of meat. The Victorian Farmers Federation wants to take this further in Australia and include ‘lab-grown protein’, sometimes referred to as ‘clean meat’, as a misleading product name.

Anthrax awareness workshop at St George

Recent incidents in the St George-Dirranbandi district have indicted anthrax spores may be present in and around the area and livestock grazing locally may be at risk of infection, according to Queensland’s Department of Agriculture. Graziers are being urged to find out how to best protect both their livestock and themselves from anthrax at an awareness workshop on Wednesday May 30 at the St George Cultural Centre. Anthrax is a naturally occurring bacterial disease which impacts animals. It is most common in New South Wales and Victoria, but has also  been found in part of south-west Queensland. Qld Ag Minister Mark Furner said being properly informed and prepared was the best defence against incidents of anthrax. “Last week, anthrax was confirmed on a Dirranbandi property in a single cow, however the property owners’ proactive approach limited the impact of the incident,” Mr Furner said. “The affected owners were aware of previous incidents in the St George-Dirranbandi district in the past two years and, wisely, had taken precautions.” The free AgForce St George Anthrax Workshop will be held on Wednesday from 9am until 1pm at the St George Cultural Centre. To register, text 0401 101 773 or email purcells@agforceqld.org.au

European trade negotiations welcomed: AMIC

A European Commission announcement giving the green light to start trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand is positive news for Australia’s meat export industry according to Australian Meat Industry Council CEO Patrick Hutchinson. “We know that European consumers value Australian meat products very highly for their consistent and predictable quality. Low volume import quotas have meant we haven’t always been able to meet demand, so we’re excited by the opportunity this could bring,” he said. The Commission said trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand would provide EU businesses with a valuable entry point into the wider Asia-Pacific region and put European companies on an equal footing with those from the other countries in the area that have signed up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Funding for northern farmers exporting to Asia

The Australian Government has announced a $259,000 investment by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia to improve farmers’ ability to export agricultural produce to Asia. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the project will enable local, regional, national and international representatives to work together to increase exports of perishable agricultural commodities from Northern Australia to Asia. The CRC for Developing Northern Australia will invest $259,000 in a $676,000 project that will include surveying Chinese consumers to determine what Australian-grown agricultural goods they want from our farmers. The project is expected to be completed in September 2020.

Changes to Chain of Responsibility laws confirmed for October 1

Reforms to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will be implemented from 1 October.  National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO Sal Petroccitto said the start date for the reforms follows lengthy consultation and information for heavy vehicle businesses over the past 18 months. “October 1 provides the additional time that some sectors were asking for to prepare for the changes, particularly the agricultural sector,” he said. “This change to CoR laws is a significant leap forward in recognising everyone in the heavy vehicle supply chain has a role to play in ensuring safety. The NHVR has information available including CoR Gap Assessment tools, role-specific fact sheets, Safety Management System templates and tools, and videos and podcasts. For more information visit www.nhvr.gov.au/cor

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