Earlier this year the Western Australian Government introduced laws making livestock branding optional, and now the Queensland Government is testing the water on a similar move.
The Queensland Government issued a statement today announcing that it is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the State’s branding and earmarking legislation.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Government is keen to hear from stakeholders on two proposed options.
“Either branding could remain mandatory or producers could be allowed to decide whether or not to brand or earmark their cattle under a voluntary approach,” Mr Furner said.
“None of the proposals involve removing the ability to brand, rather, livestock owners would be given the freedom to decide what’s in their own best interest.
“Queensland’s Brands Act 1915 is more than 100 years old and has not been significantly changed in decades.
“That’s why Queensland needs a modern approach to brands and earmarks that is more efficient for livestock owners and gives them a choice.
“Brands have traditionally been used to show livestock ownership but no longer serve the significant biosecurity function they once did.
“With advances in technology, there are now far more effective ways of tracing livestock in the event of a disease outbreak.
“Not all cattle owners want to brand. However, for those who see value in using a brand to identify stock, branding would still be available under both of these proposals.”
Mr Furner said after other states had made changes in recent years, Queensland and the Northern Territory were now the only Australian jurisdictions that mandated the use of livestock brands.
“The current IT system being used to support brands and earmarks is also outdated and requires replacement which has created an opportunity to review all of the rules around registering a brand or earmark.
“Now is the time to bring in a simpler, more streamlined system which reduces red tape and is more consistent with other Australian jurisdictions,” he said.
“The current branding requirements also impose unnecessary costs on livestock owners, supply chain operators and government.
“The current fees do not reflect the cost of the staffing levels and IT system needed to administer brands, so we are proposing a more appropriate fee structure to support administration of brands and earmarks.
“Having a renewal fee will cover administration costs and free up unused brands for livestock producers who currently find it hard to register the brand they want.”
Mr Furner said the proposed changes and a feedback questionnaire are now available at the DAF Engagement Hub: https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/
“We want to hear from all sections of the community on the future of brands and earmarks in Queensland and I would encourage everyone to have their say,” he said.
Source: Qld Govt