Home' On The Land : September 8th 2011 Contents 4 -- ON THE LAND THURSDAY, September 8, 2011
SOUTHERN cattle markets could be
hit next year by a surplus of former
Indonesian live export cattle coming
onto the market, Meat and Livestock
Australia chief economist Tim McRae
said last week.
The impact of the temporary halt
to Indonesian live cattle exports in
June/July this year and its fall-out
would be felt by every beef producer
in Australia, Mr McRae told delegates
at the Livestock Saleyards Association
of Victoria conference in Horsham.
The temporary ban's immediate
impact on Queensland and Victorian
trade steer values had been hard to
pick up because the market had already
been hit by the Japanese disasters and
the high Australia dollar exchange rate,
But the fall-out of the temporary halt
to live exports from Darwin has meant
up to 250,000-300,000 cattle normally
exported live from northern Australia
might have to go into other markets,
Mr McRae said. A good season would
allow northern producers to hold these
cattle to heavier weights.
"We are going to see a steady stream
of cattle coming in and I think they
are going to come through the eastern
Queensland processing plants.
"Last year we did see those heavy
cows over 350 kilograms come all the
way into Victoria," he said.
"The impact of that was hard to tell
because it was such a wet start to the
year that supplies in Victoria were so
tight that really they just topped up
numbers. But when you have a look at
that map it is obvious just how important
that live trade is because major process-
ing plants are a long way from where
their cattle are," Mr McRae said.
Mr McRae said the majority of the
surplus live export cattle will go into
western Queensland, with most hitting
the slaughter market in the second half
of 2012. Some of the cattle will go to
grinding beef export markets, but the
impact on southern markets could be
significant, he said.
"This coming year's wet season
(November-December) is the big key,
because if we don't see a good wet
season there is going to be a lot of cattle
that have been fattened that are going
to enter the market.
"Hopefully, the global beef market
will be stronger than what it is now
and they can be absorbed, but there
is certainly a big question mark over
what impact that has on the market,"
"If we see a poor wet season in the
north, if we see a lot of heavy finished
cattle coming into Queensland and
northern New South Wales markets, you
are going to see the impact in Victoria,
quite significantly I think."
An estimated 300,000 head of cattle
are expected to be exported to Indonesia
this year and this could increase, but
the temporary export had delivered a
"knock-out blow" for some northern
Australian cattle producers, he said.
"For that top half of Australia the
impact of this is going to remain for
years and years with massive concerns
about long term viability," he said.
Live export cattle
A New South Wales enthusiast has applied for a permit to import silver foxes.
Picture: DAVE BEZAIRE and SUSI HAVENS-BEZAIRE
POTENTIAL pest animals like the
silver fox should be placed on a
prohibited list to halt import ap-
plications, Invasive Animals CRC
chief executive Andreas Glanznig
The CRC was the first to raise the
alert on the application to import
the silver fox, but opposition has
since come from the National
Farmers Federation, the Victorian
Farmers Federation, the RSPCA
and Victorian Agriculture Minister
The silver fox is of the same
species as the red fox, Vulpes
vulpes, that is listed as a Key
Threatening Process in the
Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act.
The fox impacts on 76 native spe-
cies listed as threatened under
the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC)
Act and costs farmers $21.2 million
a year in lost productivity through
predation of livestock.
The federal Department of
Sustainability, Environment, Water,
Population and Communities is
calling for submissions on the
environment assessment report
from the applicant, but federal
Minister for Agriculture Tony
Burke's reaction to the silver fox
application was: "At first glance
it seems insane."
Mr Glanznig said the application
highlighted the continuing threat
that exotic animal import appli-
cations presented to Australia,
including wolf-dog hybrids and
Mr Glanznig said plant im-
ports were dealt with under the
Quarantine Act with permitted and
prohibited lists, where the banned
lists of plants included weeds of
national significance, such as
lantana and parthenium.
"Our position would be that
the EPBC Act adopt a similar
approach where you have these
permitted and prohibited lists.
"The issue is that the fox is iden-
tified as a Key Threatening Process
and that's the animal equivalent of
a weed of national significance."
This proposed prohibited EPBC
list could include foxes, cane
toads, as well as wolf-dog hybrids
and exotic cat species.
Mr Glanznig said there was an
ongoing trend of people keeping
exotic species in the United
"This trend will continue ---
we've had the savannah cat and
now we have the silver fox --- the
potential next cab off the rank will
be these timber wolf-dog hybrids,"
"The only way we can deal with
that properly is to change the legal
definition under the EPBC Act.
"The opportunity for the federal
government is that the EPBC Act
has been reviewed, the govern-
ment has made a response and
it has now initiated a process
to amend the Act," Mr Glanznig
"As part of those amendments it
would be wise for the government
to, once and for all, close this legal
definition loophole that is expos-
ing Australia to the potential of
these new hybrid pets."
By TERRY SIM
By STEVE HYNES
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