LIVESTOCK producers have become frustrated with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) after they experienced a delay in the process of their brand registrations.
The Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) became aware of delays in the processing of brand registrations after members advised the association of instances where livestock had been conveyed to saleyards, abattoirs or live export facilities under the assumption that the brand registration was current, only to find that the re-registration, while being paid for had not be processed on DPIRD’s system.
The PGA wrote to DPIRD requesting that the matter be rectified as a matter of urgency and has since secured a commitment from DPIRD that it will seek a resolution to the delays in the re-registration of livestock brands.
The PGA said DPIRD had since responded noting that they are seeking to allocate additional resources to brand registration processing, providing producers with a brand registration renewal form six weeks prior to the brand expiring and investigating technological upgrades to streamline this process.
PGA Livestock chairman Chris Patmore said while DPIRD’s quick response had been heartening, it was of utmost concern that such a situation was allowed to occur in the first place.
“The registration of brands is what I would expect to be a core business of DPIRD,’’ Mr Patmore said.
“It is extremely concerning that a situation such as this has been allowed to eventuate.”
DPIRD has made an undertaking to fix the problem immediately and has requested producers check their brand’s currency prior to selling stock.
If payment has been made and the brand is not registered, DPIRD has committed to processing the registration immediately upon request so as to not delay the process for the producer.
DPIRD livestock biosecurity director Peter Gray said the volume of brand registration renewals increased significantly in 2017 with renewals processed by DPIRD increasing 30 per cent, from 5000 to 7000.
He said this resulted in part from the transition from five to three-year brand registrations under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013.
“Following matters being brought to our attention, DPIRD committed to resolve them by changing the mail out of the brand renewal form so livestock owners now receive the form eight weeks before expiry, instead of four weeks, to encourage early return and facilitate processing before their expiry date,” Mr Gray said.
Mr Patmore said DPIRD should have known that when it changed from a five to three-year brand renewal there would be an increase in processing and catered for that.
“They knew it would go from 5000 to 7000 (re-registrations) – this has been going on for months,” Mr Patmore said.
“Yet no one had the initiative to work out the problem.”
Mr Patmore said in the past producers have had to wait sometimes months for the process to work – when they thought that the process had been completed because they had seen the renewal cost taken out of their bank accounts.
“Producers should check that they have got the paperwork back and the renewal certificate for registration and not rely on money being taken out of their bank accounts as evidence of a successful re-registration,” he said.
Mr Gray also advised livestock owners who were in the process of selling livestock to check their registered brand on the DPIRD website prior to sale and phone the DPIRD brands office on 9780 6207 if the registration had expired.
Mr Gray said DPIRD will reregister brands immediately, provided the correct documentation and payment has been received.
To view whether a stock brand is valid, visit agric.wa.gov.au to find a link to the “stock brand and PIC register” page.