March 27, 2013
Whilethe Victorian Farmers Federation has supported the Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) and Woolproducers Australia (WPA) Ovine Johns Disease national management plan, it is concerned that South Australia may still impose unfounded trade restrictions on sheep. The OJD national management plan won’t prescribe protected zones or areas which is a win, however South Australia is still a real worry as they plan to impose their own trade entry requirements. “The biggest concern to Victorian producers is that tighter controls in South Australia may lead to a loss of trade for some producers, and also illegal trade of sheep between the two states,” VFF livestock President Ian Feldtmann said today. “We will be communicating with the South Australian government to understand exactly what restrictions they will be imposing and to understand the trading implications this will have for producers,” Mr Feldtmann said. The VFF is however relived that members’ calls were heard on a national level on a number of issues, particularly the need to deregulate the disease, and let producers get on with the job. “Recognition of vaccination is still another key concern, and we have been fighting hard to have vaccination acknowledged as a tool to reduce the disease’s spread. The message to vaccinate needs to be strongly reinforced, and ideally commercially driven. “The onus is now on the producer to manage the disease and their flock,” Mr Feldtmann said. But Mr Feldtmann stressed that allowing South Australia to impose restrictions could cripple the industry. “The restrictions that South Australia is imposing could cause havoc across the sheep trade industry. We need to ensure that the concerns of South Australia are based on science, not assumption, or other motives” Mr Feldtmann said.