The announcement of a new tick line will deliver long awaited clarity for Queensland cattle producers, but must be backed up with a strong surveillance program and communication plan, AgForce said today.
AgForce cattle president Bim Struss said managing ticks was a significant and costly issue for the cattle industry and every effort needed to be made to minimise the impact of the tick line and the cost of maintaining the integrity of the tick line.
“The location of the tick line has been a contentious issue for years and the Queensland Government spent months consulting with more than 1000 producers at information meetings AgForce organised,” he said.
“AgForce has always maintained that reform should only be pursued where increased market access and support is provided to producers irrespective of their location.
“From the consultation process, it was clear there were different views in different parts of the state, and even within the same areas, but today’s announcement means producers now know where they stand.
“I am pleased that it appears many of AgForce’s recommendations have been accepted and that the Agriculture Minister recognised a one size fits all approach wouldn’t have worked.
“While I expect some producers will be happy with the changes, others, particularly in the South Burnett, will be disappointed that they will now be in the tick infested zone.
“We need to consider the map in detail over coming days and talk to our members in the affected areas to gauge the full implications of the changes.
“We appreciate the Minister has said the Department will review the impact of the new tick line on producers and AgForce is keen to understand the process for allowing producers to be included in the tick free zone in the future if they have successfully eradicated ticks.”
Mr Struss said the Biosecurity Queensland cattle tick surveillance program must be adequately resourced and the changes to the tick line must be effectively communicated to producers.
“With the new cattle tick management framework starting in a matter of weeks, the Government must explain clearly and simply to producers what the changes will mean for them for this to work effectively,” he said.