Producers to have say in new disease controls

27 Aug, 2003 10:00 PM
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LEGISLATION to provide for sheep, cattle and goat producers to have direct input into disease control and compensation strategies, including the collection of funds, could be introduced early next year.

Agriculture Department animal health manager Ashley Mercy said State Cabinet has approved the drafting of enabling legislation to get the legislation into the first session of parliament next year.

"It will enable the sheep, cattle and goat industries to set up separate funds," Dr Mercy said.

"They'll be set up and managed by a grower committee that will make recommendations to the minister in terms of the regulations and one of the key things is how much money will be collected."

He said regulations being drawn up would state what the funds could be used for, but will mainly deal with compensation issues for disease outbreaks.

They would not be used for research.

The regulations would also enable the managing committees to make recommendations to use the funds for inspection, testing, surveillance and control and eradication of prescribed diseases.

"It's much narrower than the old cattle industry compensation fund," Dr Mercy said.

He said the establishment of the separate grower-influenced disease compensation schemes was an important step for WA livestock industries.

Dr Mercy said the draft legislation would be made available to grower groups before it was introduced into parliament.

"There are no hidden agendas," he said.

"It's a matter of the sheep, goat and cattle industries deciding independently if they want to have such a scheme."

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