Queensland’s new agriculture minister Bill Byrne has acted quickly to improve conditions for cattle producers caught up in the State’s long-running Bovine Johne’s Disease quarantine and eradication program.
In a media released issued this week, the Minister announced that the payment cap under the bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) assistance scheme is to be doubled from $100,000 to $200,000 for producers impacted by the disease.
Mr Byrne said the new Queensland Government recognised the impact the disease control program had had on the Queensland livestock industry.
“We have increased the amount of financial assistance available to those producers who have been impacted the most,” he said.
“Eligible producers will soon be able to apply for assistance up to a new total cap of $200,000. This will be welcome news for producers who have already reached the existing cap of $100,000.
“In addition, we want to give producers every opportunity to take advantage of this funding, so the deadline for applications will be extended from 27 March 2015 to 30 June 2015,” Mr Byrne said.
“I encourage all eligible producers to take advantage of this financial support.
“To date, the Queensland Government has approved payments totalling more than $2.8 million in BJD assistance and supplementary payments under the Government’s $5 million BJD assistance package.
“This includes $648,172 under the Direct Market Assistance Program, $1,085,171 under the Supply Chain Pathway Assistance Program and $43,885 under the Short-term Quarantine Assistance Program.
“We have also made supplementary payments to over 75% of eligible producers to the value of $1,081,000,” he said.
The Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) assistance scheme is an initiative of the Queensland Government delivered by QRAA.
Mr Byrne said that the Queensland Government would continue to work with industry to manage bovine Johne’s disease.
“This increase in payments highlights the Queensland Government’s commitment to building a stronger and more profitable livestock industry in Queensland,” he said.
He commented that he was keen to hear industry’s view on the future management of BJD in Queensland as part of the review of the national BJD program that commenced last month.
“Participation in the review provides an opportunity to ensure the best interests of Queensland’s livestock industries form part of the future control and management of BJD.”
Source: Queensland minister for Agriculture. To find out more about BJD financial assistance and supplementary payments call 13 25 23 or visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website. Application forms and information on how to apply is available on the QRAA website www.qraa.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946. BJD is notifiable under legislation and all suspect cases should be reported. If BJD is suspected on your property, do not move or cull suspect cattle. Isolate the animals and contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or a private veterinarian.