Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of $370 million for biosecurity funding, in the lead up to the Federal Budget. The sheep industry has been part of a widespread call for a boost in funding for biosecurity in agriculture. As identified in the recent Inspector General of Biosecurity’s report, there are deficiencies in the current biosecurity system at the border. Biosecurity threats to Australia’s livestock industries can exacerbate delays to imported goods, some of which are relied upon by the sheep sector, already not helped by COVID-19.
The Minister for Agriculture recently reported the detection of Foot and Mouth Disease virus fragments in seized meat products at the border, highlighting the need for proper resourcing to protect our livestock industries. The sheep sector alone contributes over $6 billion to the Australian economy, most of which goes to regional Australia. Biosecurity is a shared responsibility, and SPA commends the Commonwealth Government for responding to calls for more funding to protect Australia’s premium lamb and mutton products. SPA will continue to support progressive biosecurity and traceability policies that ensure Australian sheep producers are protected from disease, sustain their flock numbers, and maintain access to premium local and overseas markets.
“This boost will allow the implementation of additional x-ray and other technologies, that will improve congestion, but more importantly increase the detection capacity at the border. Biosecurity is always a major focus of the sheep industry. Australian producers rely on a capable and effective biosecurity system to protect their businesses. In addition to detection at the border, on-farm surveillance and traceability policies are important for industry and government to maintain and safeguard our future. Industry and Government must work together, and the continuing work and commitment of both parties is very encouraging.” Stephen Crisp SPA CEO.
Related Media Release: https://sheepproducers.com.au/national-livestock-traceability-system-reform/
4 May 2021
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