Recent comments by: Jo Bloomfield

Canberra Comment

Excellent article Colin. While I think the term social licence is bandied around too much when the likes of some groups say they speak for the majority when they don't there is no doubt that the Agriculture sector has to engage the community in conversation to communicate what is realistic achievable and affordable methods of farming.
Lee Rehannion (NSW greens) openly congratulated the most recent boarding at the Fremantle port via twitter.
Fools that gave no consideration to bio security/quarantine concerns, not unlike the three women who broke into the chicken factory recently. all breaking the law, all effecting legitimate business, causing disruption and nuisance to emergency services. Wait for the next instalment of their antics, if someone does get seriously hurt I bet they don't accept responsibility for their actions even then.

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

As we talk Activists have broken into facilities to release their own footage of what they regard as cruelty, one each day for the 'Bacon week' period. It is only a matter of time before a producer takes the law into their own hands if these activists don't start to obey it.
Thank you David. As a producer who sells to and solely relies on LE, your article is greatly appreciated. I do support ESCAS, there has to be something in place to reasonably attempt and ensure good AW. I believe the key is education, assistance and working with these countries not beating them with a big stick. There is complete and utter contempt by ARA's to not recognise any significant improvements LE has made to importing countries in both practices and their own lives and economies.
Not once have I actually seen one of these journos have the guts to say "Its about time the consumer actually paid what it costs to produce the product". As a producer it is not my responsibility to provide cheap produce at the detriment of my business. Stop importing the stuff that doesn't even come close to the requirements of our animal welfare, chemical use and employment costs. Then we'll see if these same journos who think Australian producers shouldn't be supported. The fact is Australian farmers have been too good at what they do for too long and the public have become complacent.
Animals Australia receive approximately $30,000 a year from government as it is registered as a charitable non profit organisation. It only recently registered for GST compliance yet enjoyed a $2M+ income 2011 and $3M+ in 2012. Animals Australia is a radical animal rights organisation aimed ultimately at veganism. Livestock production is seen by them as immoral and unnecessary no matter how good the Animal welfare..
A very interesting article. Unfortunately I feel in many areas in Australia we are already heading to this form of dictatorship simply through our form of land ownership as lessees.
For starters it barely touches on Live export of animals that is already doable. which in my view is the greatest market potential of all with Indonesia being able to finish off the animals to slaughter weight.
The very term of calling everything food I think shows expectation of government that the producer takes responsibility for the very supply of that food even if they are making a loss doing it. The responsibility of the producer is to be economic and environmentally sustainable for the long term. In general an extremely naive paper of goverment thinking its doing a great job but not.

Agribusiness

Always strikes me as odd when people talk about manufacturing or processing steps of food supply as the opportunity to value add automatically thinking that passes and is in some way controled by producers. It isn't and rarely do those higher in the chain pass down the increased value to those who actually produce the raw product. So much could be done to improve efficency at farm level, particularly with animal production. Our land size will not change, we need to waste less and produce more effectively, maintaining high bio security. Don't put the cart before the horse.
Producers supported and agreed with the initial stoppage of supply of animals to the initial 12 abattoirs in May 2011. The extension of the ban across all Indonesian markets was completely unnecessary. Supply chains were available that had stunning and best practice standards . Regarding the types of animals at the time that we were supplying, light feeders <350kg, we had absolutely nowhere to sell those cattle until they gained more weight in latter years. We put off staff, stopped mustering and extended debt, There was no Income. The effects were extremely stressful mentally and financially
Most submissions to the review expressed the desire that they want the genuine grass-fed producers to have control. That must start with changes to the voting system. Currently it would take over 800 / 100 hd cattle sellers to match 1 large processor who has only held cattle for a very short time. Levy producers must register to voice their concerns to atleast be part of the conversation. The style of us all getting the shits and ignoring MLA has got to change. This is our levies and MLA must use them as directed by the majority payers. It is 6 weeks before voting registrations close 2/10/14
RSPCA must cut all ties with Animals Australia to even start to gain credibility. They were involved with dialogue in regards to Live export and still are but when they say one thing behind closed doors but then publically state they are against live export they are simply illustrating the fact they are a puppet of the animal rights groups and not a leader. Australian Animal Welfare standards are a mess, these should have been standardised long ago, but weren't due to rediculous animal rights wording, RSPCA do not support practical, affordable or effective views on animal welfare.
I hope the legislation includes clauses that say if film is obtained that it must be handed to authorities in a set time frame and the animal producer attacked given first viewing. So many of these films are hoarded and only released when it suits activists and not for actual improvement of animal welfare.
Lee Rhiannon makes generalised statements of improving domestic processing she must answer how then to combat drought and variance in animal supply due to it, stop the lessening sheep herd which has badly affected NSW abattoirs, forcing some closed. They want lambs not mutton or damaras. In regards to cattle how will the flow-on of lost trade for dairy heifers improve returns. How does she plan to stop skyrocketing meat processing costs and excessive government charges. 1 AQIS inspector can cost $200,00 pa, Lucky she's leaving politics in a few months, someone take her place with real vision.
Thanks Barry for bringing that up. What concerns me is the assumption that if a country imports frozen or chilled it is assumed it actually replaces the exact markets Live export targeted. I doubt this and suspect the frozen may be newer or completely different markets targeting prime and higher income earners and as you say LE is markets to poorer socio economic levels that have been lost.
Lee Rhiannon fails to realise (though told lots of times) that abattoirs in the north paid $50 -$100 per beast delivered prior to LE development. What sort of fool wants us to go back to that? She also fails to recognise that abattoirs across Australia face increasing pressures in costs, I suggest she look at government costs, labour and management of abattoirs (Young - NSW) before declaring how it is so easy to set up new ones and blaming LE for meat processing woes.
A typo in there, the maximum subscription fee applicable is $36,000. Luke has been a great executive director of NTCA and was instrumental in helping to co-ordinate NTCA, producers and politicians to talk and get live export back on track. He will be missed but the current executive are going to great lengths to find a suitable person is found as replacement. I'm sure with the NTCA having so many pro-active members the direction of NTCA will continue to grow and improve.
How little the animal activists realise the implications of banning LE will have as flow on effect on animals and people outside of those directly sending to LE. Isn't the fact animals were stolen an indication of how desperate some have become to source meat. Do they not see the catastrophe amplified due to oversupply in QLD. How many politicians who have called and still do so for a ban have actually even travelled to the north to see first hand the ramifications of a ban if it were to occur. I can only think of one and he doesn't support a ban now.

General

AAWS failed dismally because animal rights groups had unrealistic expectations of animals and their protection. What happened to the non-livestock frameworks or domestic, performance, wildlife or zoo animals . All of them put the side and conveniently forgotten. As for IOAW 1 person of a committee of 10-12 was too represent all livestock production from producer through to processor and retailer. All the other committee members were ARA's or people with little or no knowledge or skills in animal production. IOAW was not independent or capable of practical analysis of livestock processes
Good on MLA. How many of us, particularly those who sell animals to live export were deeply offended at the ban live export propaganda placed on public transport. Those ads were not removed because of our disgust.
Senator Back's Bill is designed to make it obligatory for people who record malicious cruelty to report the existence of the footage and then hand a copy of it over within 5 days. It doesn't stop them giving the footage to any media or use in any way they like. Live baiting is clearly stated as illegal in all welfare acts yet activists never handed it to police. RSPCA only prosecute less than 1% of 50,000 complaints received a year. Authorised persons have skills and legality in investigating, ARA's are simply vigilantes and often jeopardise the very information they collect.
The IOAW was presented a number of years ago by delussional Greens - Lee Rhiannon. I wonder is it is still intended the representation will be mainly politically and animal liberation based with only 1 person representing all livestock industries across all sectors. Of course the supporters of IOAW seem to have overlooked the nationalisation of the animal welfare standards for cattle and sheep, yet conveniently forgotten about domestic animals, zoo or performance animals. Will the IOAW be an improvement or just add to the overburden of red tape, will it be relevant to international policies
Once again the definition of 'cruelty' is not explained by RSPCA. I found a calf this morning killed by wild dogs, a surely horrific death. Do RSPCA expect a backpacker to report my failure to protect that calf. I bait those dogs to intentionally kill them, Would a worker be expected to report me for that too. Who determines what is cruel and what is not is the problem! Footage of an animal being castrated would be seen as cruel by some, not by others. Most backpackers think anything involving sight of blood is cruel. They see an animal kill it self running headlong into a fence is that cruel?
National interest my foot! Mr Morrison should be looking at non-business overseas investment in housing if he want to show concern for national interest. The incredible number of purchases by people from overseas is forcing most Australians out of the housing market. Investment in large companies is good, the profit would be minimal off a pastoral property and even if there was some they will need local people, goods and services to operate. If removal of profit is a concern then change the taxation capture of them but don't have the government act as big Brother in an open market.
I will be interested to read the book. Especially the fact it calls itself an investigation, as that would mean it looked at all view points, including those who support LE and were affected by it, including the animals we care for. Of course I also expect to see indepth analysis of the ramifications of that ban, on the stock left at portside, people who's incomes were devastated and the flow on to the beef industry as a whole.
Joe Ludwig, Your reaction to 4c was to ban 11 abattoirs, some didn't even take Australian animals. Your reaction to the pressure of RSPCA, Animals Australia and other ARA's was to place a blanket ban on Indonesian exports. You had industry people in Canberra who you didn't consult, you had producers who's pleas you ignored and now your saying Barnaby is not informed. You did untold damage to the LE industry because you cowtailed to animal rights groups. You put their and your interests before those of the people you allegedly represented. LE's back on track, in spite of you not because of you.
Agree with Mic, not only wool but all animal industries do need to be more pro-active in addressing issues or cruelty and treatments. As for the welfare standards, been there done that. RSPCA were involved as were Animals Australia and many industries, over 5 years, and writing groups that provided a document for public comment that was full of rubbish by RSPCA who expect assurance 100% pain free life for all livestock, heck I can't even do that for my kids. There needs to be a middle ground and conceding to all RSPCA whims is not it, they are leaning to far to animal rights not real welfare
Some very good points Jan. I do take exception to one - people who want to stop animal production all together are not consumers.
I believe many don't appreciate that CCTV means, closed circuit. It doesn't mean public access to footage. My concern with public access to film and footage is who decides what is cruel, good husbandry practice and humane. Ultimately if the producer is expected to install these extra surveillance steps then who is held accountable to view and rule the film. Is the producer able to recoup costs.

Livestock

Good Science! Was not what RSPCA's Bidda Jones did in her so called scientific investigation of Indonesia in 2011 she based her viewing only on footage supplied by Animals Australia and ABC, a paltry 50 odd head of doctored footage of the 600,000 head that went in that year. RSPCA have no right to claim AW improvments for Australian animals will be improved if LE deminishes significantly because in Australia it would negate many AW abilities simply through financial and economic hardship.
RSPCA used to be a respected organisation now they are a disgrace. They willing stood with Animals Australia screaming for the demise of Northern producers. Their latest fact sheets on Live export are an absolute propaganda disgrace. They have even included offal in export values and forgot to mention that includes equine. RSPCA need to take a good long look at themselves. I am one producer who supported them wholeheartedly in the past. They proudly put their badge beside Animals Australia when it suited, now sleep in the bed you made RSPCA.
Animals Australia claim to be the voice for animals, RSPCA for all creatures great and small. How ironic that they only see the need to actually abide by those ideals when it suits their own purposes of self advertisement for more funds. They both equated LE to human suffering, funny how they haven't done that with the animals live baited. Maybe these groups only hear what they want when they want. Good on you Senator Back, this bill is desperately needed before someone gets killed, because thats what it will take for some to realise they have gone to far.
ESCAS reports aren't confidential until the recent changes they were all available via the web. I just happen to read them. I sell to live export, I want to know where my cattle are going and what conditions they may encounter.
1/2 Of course RSPCA seem to be forgetting the fact that Animals Australia themselves are making complaints that are based on someone told someone who told them (#16 Israel) and then not giving details of who supplied the information of the informants won't give further details. Or what about others again lodged by AA with no photos, no videos no information. (#3 Indonesia & #6 Pakistan) or what about the #10 compliance investigation into the Egypt, the vet so happy to appear on TV to slam Animal welfare for AA wouldn't talk to DAFF.
The live cattle export trade production of cattle in Australia underpins the national herd by at least 6M head. Take away beef price sustainability and competition and the national herd will greatly reduce. To achieve slaughter weights in Australia without LE we would actually need to quadruple or even more feedlot production, thus grain fodder input. Many feedlots use feed quality grains and crops which is an effective way to also underpin the croppers production when they have problems achieving highest quality produce. The big picture is Australia needs live export.
Dogs and ferals have always been a difficult problem, kill one feral (camels) to save feed for cattle actually creates food for another problem, the dogs that also impact. There has been floods and mice plagues south, while in the north I wonder if the abundance of food in the way of cane toads has impact. Crows have learnt to turn them and eat their guts I don't doubt dogs could do the same. Ferals, donkeys, horses are also a problem in the north and shoot to waste a food source.
Concern for the fate of the animals has not been lost at all. What is not recognised is a definition of cruelty. RSPCA regard that all practices must be pain free and an animals life assured pain free. Intentional infliction of short term pain e.g castration is not cruel but necessary for the betterment of the whole herd. Education I agree is needed, but that includes educating those who know nothing about Animal welfare and 'think' what they see is cruel when it is not.
It is not in Australia's economic interest at all to close live exports. It has taken AACo nearly 10 years to fund and build their meat processing facility near Darwin to process animals not suited to LE, only $2.5M gov funding when it cost $95M. As for facility space in WA that is based on producers having year round supply and animals being fed and held when its suits the abattoirs kill space, costs to producers. How on earth is that economical? It amazes me to see that again Mr Wilkie fails to acknowledge the volume of stunning and welfare care that goes into Live export.
The Agriculture protection laws are intended to protect Agriculture from intentional malicious representation. Such as with holding film footage, and not disclosing where and when it was filmed. Intentional invasion for the purpose to inflict maximum financial hardship and negatively impact animal health. To assume all animal welfare activists have the best intentions of animal welfare at heart is simply naïve.

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