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BJD risks overblown, say producers

07.06.2018, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

FARMER representatives condemn the red tape wrapped around Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) management, claiming producers have been slugged with unnecessary costs.
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

However the Australian Chief Veterinary Office (ACVO) said rigorous testing regulations are needed to maintain Australia’s solid reputation in international trade.

Queensland producer John Gunthorpe, BJD Action Coalition, said Australia sets a higher standard than required by its overseas trade partners, and this doesn’t boost exports.

“In regards to trade…(we) are restricting beyond the requirements of the protocol,” he said.

Many countries with BJD restrictions only require exporters to alert them of animals showing clinical, or visible, signs of the disease.

“Any suggestion that there is potential in Japan for additional revenue because of the clean status of BJD of cattle coming out of Queensland is rubbish,” Mr Gunthorpe said.

“I can tell you I have traded many tonnes of beef into Japan and I don’t know any customer in Japan who wouldn’t take beef because of BJD, and I have written to some of these customers and they have told me it is all not true.”

When Queensland Brahman stud Rockley tested positive to BJD in 2012, more than 150 herds were quarantined across the State.

Justin Toohey, Cattle Council of Australia, said this caused a “certification blockage” and impacted properties that carried little to no risk of BJD.

“Some of those properties locked up in Queensland were locked up as a result of transport, and the risk was so miniscule,” he said.

“When we tried to get these miniscule risk properties to be able to continue trading, they were blocked by federal authorities… that is a major stumbling block for the future.”

Arguing in favour of regulation ACVO’s Jonathon Taylor said high standards were necessary to ensure the government’s credibility of disease free certification was never put into question.

“If we know there is a positive test, but there was no sign of clinical disease, we would struggle if challenged by our trading partners to defend (our certification),” he said.

“It is very important that what we certify to and attest to must stay true – as you know we have a great standing in the world, and in our status as an exporting country.

“It is essential we maintain the credibility of our inspection and certification systems given our reliance.

“Our trade partners are becoming increasingly audit focused – they enquire about our systems.”

More than 100 people gathered in Sydney to discuss the review process of BJD management being undertaken by Animal Health Australia (AHA).

Consultation is set to continue until August, and AHA has set itself a January 1 2016 deadline to implement reforms.

AHA received 25 written submissions before the forum, many detailed individual producers experiences of BJD regulation’s impacts.

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