Beef Central briefs 22 August 2012

Beef Central, 22/08/2012

Media coverage helping with stolen cattle case


Police investigating the reported theft of 860 cattle from two properties near Tambo between April 22 and May 22 this year say they have received helpful information as a result of last week’s media reports. “The media attention has extracted a large volume of information which has resulted in a number of lines of inquiry both within Queensland and interstate,” Detective Warren Baker from the Queensland stock and rural crime investigation squad told Beef Central this week. “The assistance received from the media and the public has been much appreciated.” Detective Sergeant Baker said investigations were continuing. In the meantime anyone who can assist with information is asked to contact the Charleville Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad on (07) 4650 5500 or mobile 0427 758093; or Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Livestock thefts prompt call for traceable pet meat

The theft of more than $1.2m worth of livestock from farms in Western Australia last year has prompted the Western Australian Farmers Federation to call for stricter guidelines on where pet food manufacturers source their meat. WAFF meat section chair Jeff Murray has told ABC Radio that there are no regulations surrounding the origin of meat used in pet food, which could be helping thieves by making it easier to sell stolen animals to pet food manufacturers without having to identify their source. "Pet food manufacturers don't require a paper trail for animals that come into them," he said. "So you can sell cattle mainly but big chucks of meat to pet food manufacturers for about 60 cents a kilo and not have any traceability to go with it."


Implementation dates for Livestock Transport Standards finalised

The implementation dates for the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock for each state and territory have been finalised. The implementation date for the Land Transport Standards by state and territory is: Northern Territory – August 2012; South Australia – August 2012; Victoria – October 2012; NSW – October 2012; Tasmania – 1 January 2013; Queensland – 1 January 2013; Western Australia – 1 January 2013. The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock are based on a revision of the Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals and are a part of national efforts to deliver clear, consistent and contemporary animal welfare standards for livestock industries across Australia. The standards were developed to address animal welfare concerns of the Australian community while also taking into consideration new scientific knowledge, experience and the sustainability of industry. The standards and guidelines cover the transport of 12 livestock species travelling by road and rail, and by livestock transport vehicles aboard a ship and will ensure consistent outcomes across all States and Territories. To view more information about the standards click here


Taiwan moves closer to Ractopamine resolution

Taiwan has moved a step closer to opening its doors to imported beef which contains Ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing drug used as a livestock feed additive in some countries. Taiwan’s Department of Health Food and Drug Administration has announced a preview of official notice of allowable levels of ractopamine in beef imports and of requirements for labeling of product origin. It allows members of the public to express their opinions on the measures, and, if supported, the new regulations will take effect by mid-September. The department has capped the maximum residue limit for ractopamine in beef at 10 parts per billion (ppb), which is simlar to allowable residue standards set by Japan and South Korea. New labeling of origin regulations, outlets that serve beef in Taiwan, including restaurants and food stands, must clearly label the origin of the beef they are using. Packaged foods such as instant noodles and beef jerky, as well as loose beef products, must also be labeled with point of origin. The department says it will 30,000 restaurants, with fines for breaches of between US$1000-$7000. Among the countries that allow the use of ractopamine in beef, only the United States and Canada export to Taiwan, the Department said. Australian exports to Taiwan increased to $196m in the past 12 months, making it the seventh largest export market, boosted by Taiwan’s ban on US beef imports due to the presence of Ractopamine.

Californian abattoir suspended over video footage

Video footage showing alleged mistreatment of dairy cows resulted in the suspension of operations at a Central Californian abattoir on Monday. The footage was reported to have been filmed over a two-week period in June by an animal rights activist who worked undercover at the plant. Media reports said the footage showed dairy cows, some unable to walk, “being repeatedly shocked and shot before being slaughtered”. Associated Press said federal officials are also investigating whether two USDA inspectors stationed at the facility had neglected their duties. A statement from the owner of the plant, Central Valley Meat Co, said it could not comment on the video because company officials had not seen it. “We were extremely disturbed to be informed by the USDA that … our plant could not operate based upon a videotape that was provided to the Department by a third party group that alleged inhumane treatment of animals on our property,” said a company statement, which added that it sought to not just meet but exceed animal welfare standards. A 2008 undercover operation by the Humane Society of the United States which showed a cow being pushed by the prongs of a forklift in a Californian abattoir led to the largest-ever recall of beef and the conviction of two people found to have treated the cows cruelly.

US and Canadian cattle inventory down 2pc

All cattle and calves in the United States and Canada combined totaled 111.3million head on July 1, 2012, down 2pc from the 113.5 million on July 1, 2011, according to the USDA. The number of cows and heifers that have calved totalled 44.6 million head, also down 2pc from a year ago. All cattle and calves in the United States as of July 1, 2012, totaled 97.8 million head, 2pc below the 100.0 million on July 1, 2011. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.7 million head, were down 2pc from a year ago. All cattle and calves in Canada as of July 1, 2012, totaled 13.5 million head, down slightly from the 13.5 million on July 1, 2011. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 4.91 million, were down slightly from a year ago.

Brock wins Qld young auctioneer title

Qld young auctioneer competition winner, Brock Palmer of Michael Maguire and Co, Emerald; ALPA Chairman Brendan Wade; and runner up Bo Scoble of Landmark, Mareeba.The Queensland section of the 2012 Australian Young Auctioneers Competition at the Brisbane Ekka was won by Brock Palmer of Michael Maguire and Co, Emerald, with Bo Scoble Landmark, Mareeba, finishing in second place. Brock has previously competed in the competition and like his fellow State finalists had the opportunity to hone his skills further at the annual year’s Australian Livestock and Property Association (ALPA) Auctioneers School at Gracemere earlier this year in June. Brock Palmer said, “The competition was hard this year, all the boys did a great job! I was lucky enough to come out on top.” Both Brock and Bo will represent Queensland in the ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition Final at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney in 2013.  “The competitions are always a highlight on ALPA’s event calendar”, said Andy Madigan, ALPA CEO. “It is a great opportunity for the younger members of the industry to get involved and build on their profession.”


Producing it all – grain, cattle and CSG

Roma grain and cattle producer, Peter Thompson, wished it was a mistake when CSG company, Origin knocked on his door a couple of years ago.  However, he quickly realised that CSG wouldn’t go away and that he needed to make it work for his family farming operation, Echo Hills. From day one, Peter has been keen to share his CSG journey. His popular FaceBook Page, Food &CSG has provided a fascinating day-by-day insight into how he has developed a good working relationship with a CSG company which he discovered had a production lease over his high quality mixed farming land on the Darling Downs. Peter believes the coexistence agreement he and his family have struck with Origin is a model that will be beneficial across industry and the country. Peter Thompson will share his story at the Rural Press Club of Queensland’s annual AgShow breakfast in Toowoomba on September 6, where he will reveal the secret of his coexistence success.  For further details or to book a ticket contact the Rural Press Club by clicking here


Rural women ‘River of Life' conference at St George

Registrations close this week for the annual Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA) and Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) Conference. Themed ‘River of Life’, the conference is being held in St George, south-west Queensland on September 5-7, 2012, and registrations close this Friday, August 24.   Speakers include international journalist and foreign correspondent Sally Sara, RIRDC NSW Rural Woman of the Year 2010, Lana Mitchell and RIRDC Qld Rural Woman of the Year 2012, Annette Smith. Local identity and former ABC rural radio journalist Sally Nichol Rigney will interview local women about their leadership journey and the inaugural Strong Women Leadership awards will be announced. Former Australian Olympian Duncan Armstrong will kick off proceedings on Wednesday evening and the three day conference will finish with an MLA Wind UP BBQ at Riversands Winery on the Friday evening. Conference goers will also have the opportunity to participate in river walks or Tai Chai sessions, a range of workshops, including writing and art classes, a pamper palace and a gala dinner on Thursday evening.  The full conference program and registration details are available at or by contacting 1300 795 571.


Get Land and Stock Returns in before August 31

The Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPAs) in NSW are encouraging recipients of 2012 Land and Stock Returns to lodge their completed return before Friday 31 August to avoid a late fee. In June over 147,000 Annual Land and Stock Returns were mailed to all LHPA ratepayers and individuals with a current brand, earmark or property identification code (PIC) in NSW. Chair of the LHPA State Management Council, Ian Donges, says the data collected in the returns forms a vital role in building
a statewide biosecurity picture about agricultural usage and livestock numbers, which is invaluable in the event of an emergency disease outbreak. To lodge your 2012 return online, go to or contact your nearest LHPA office for more information or assistance. Details here

Qld bull buyers urged to focus on BJD risk

As the Queensland bull selling season gears up, cattle producers in the state are being reminded to check the disease status of bulls purchased from interstate. Queensland agriculture minister John McVeigh said full checks were the best insurance against the disease that is difficult to detect and has no cure. "Unfortunately, cattle from the southern states, especially if they have any connection with dairy cattle, carry a higher risk of BJD," Mr McVeigh said. He urged producers to seek the highest level of assurance and declared cattle health statements, and to ensure interstate cattle met the minimum entry requirements. "CattleMAP certification at MN2 and MN3 gives progressively higher levels of assurance against BJD risk in interstate herds.” Mr McVeigh said producers unsure of the risks with interstate cattle should check with their local vets and or DAFF regional vets and stock officers.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -