Landcare to host Allan Savory webinar
A free webinar to be held this Friday will enable farmers, land managers and others with an interest in Landcare to learn more about Allan Savory’s views on sustainable land management. Born in Rhodesia, Allan Savory pursued an early career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service of what was then Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia), and later as a farmer, game rancher, politician and international consultant, based in Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). In the 1960s, while working on the inter-related problems of increasing poverty and disappearing wildlife, he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems. He is often cited as one of the fathers of holistic management and is the founder of the Savory Institute. This Friday, August 16, at 12pm, he will participate in a National Landcare Webinar with National Landcare Facilitator Brett de Hayr. Participants in the free one-hour webinar will have the opportunity to ask live questions. For more details or to register click here
Supply chain efficiency key for landless cattleman
Meeting the demands of the customer and adding value along the supply chain are the key drivers for emerging beef industry leader, James Maclean of Allied Beef in Toowoomba. Since 2007 Mr Maclean and his Allied Beef team have built up an impressive network of some 40 partner properties throughout Queensland and NSW and currently market about 80,000 head of EU and non-EU beef cattle for domestic and export markets. Yet this specialist beef cattle company doesn't actually own any properties. Rather it has formed strategic supply chain partnerships with other beef producers to procure and grow cattle for premium beef markets providing financing, economies of scale and best practice management. Mr Maclean will discuss his innovative business model and views on the future of beef marketing at a Rural Press Club of Queensland breakfast at the Toowoomba Showgrounds during AgShow on Thursday, September 5. For more information or to buy tickets visit the RPCQ website here
Stem-cell research offers far more than “lab-grown burgers”
The American Society of Animal Science says that while it is unlikely companies will ever produce ‘beef’ grown from stem cells on a mass scale, the recent news interest in lab-grown meat provides an opportunity to highlight more realistic advances in stem-cell technology. One example cited by the ASAS is the work of Baylor College of Medicine researcher Mary Estes, who uses stem cells to grow miniature versions of animal digestive systems. These “mini-guts” show how animals respond to potentially fatal viruses. Estes hopes to use this new technology to develop treatments for disease. At the University of Arizona, researcher Ronald Allen has shown that stem cells can also repair injured muscle. Healthy muscle growth is crucial for meat production. According to Allen, producers could use stem cell treatments to keep animals healthy and productive. “Through the use of biotechnologies, animal agriculture can continue to enhance human and animal health and provide meaningful solutions to feeding the world’s growing population,” a ASAS board of directors statement said.
FMD outbreak no barrier to South African exports
The South African Government says a recent confirmed outbreak of Foot-And-Mouth Disease (FMD) is not expected to have any impact on the country’s beef export activities, because it occurred in an area already categorised as a protected zone. Veterinary officials using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests confirmed the outbreak of the SAT 1 strain FMD virus in a communal grazing area in the Limpopo Province, which is located within South Africa’s FMD protection zone. “The Limpopo Provincial Veterinary Services is investigating the outbreak and applying control measures such as quarantine of the affected cattle and movement control of cloven-hooved animals in the surrounding areas,” an SA Department of Agriculture statement said. “Vaccination of the surrounding areas, in response to the outbreak, will take place. The outbreak occurred within South Africa’s FMD protection zone, and therefore has no effect on South Africa’s export activities.” Reports have blamed the blamed outbreak on contact between cattle and wild animals in neighbouring wildlife reserves. South Africa exported around 10,000t of red meat products last year according to official trade data.
Dog meat trade a multi-million dollar business
Animal welfare groups in Asia have formed an international alliance to end the trade in dog meat. The Asia Canine Protection Alliance aims to put an end to the trade which is estimated to involve the slaughter of five million dogs for human consumption per year. The alliance is focusing specifically on stopping the supply of dogs from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos into Vietnam, where they are slaughtered and consumed. Asian media outlets report that dog meat production has evolved from small-scale household businesses to a multi-million dollar industry of illicit dog traders, and the trade has been linked to outbreaks of trichinellosis, cholera and rabies. The World Health Organisation recently cited the trade as a contributing factor in recent outbreaks of rabies in Indonesia and cholera in Vietnam. The dog meat trade is illegal in Thailand, and the ACPA says it will work with the governments of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to improve the enforcement of regulations in place to halt the spread of rabies. Lola Webber, programmes leader, Change for Animals Foundation, said: “Whereas dogs used to be eaten for reasons of poverty, increasingly dog meat has become a delicacy, and often consumed for its perceived medicinal properties. However, the reality is that wherever in Asia the trade in dogs for human consumption occurs, it is either illegal or unregulated, posing a significant risk to both human health and animal welfare.”
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