A NEW contribution rate to the Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme came into effect this week, raising the producer levy from 10 cents to 15c from the sale of every animal.
The rate rise will help fund programs to control wild dogs and virulent footrot throughout the State.
Industry Funding Scheme (IFS) executive officer Rebecca Heath said it was important that producers, stock agents and processors were aware of the new contribution rate.
Ms Heath said the industry funding scheme enabled the WA sheep and goat industry to raise funds for programs to address priority pest and disease threats.
"Each year an industry-based management committee determines which pest and disease priorities to address, the scheme's area of operation and the producer contribution rate," Ms Heath said.
IFS management committee chairman Ed Rogister said the increased rate was to provide funding for a program to support wild dog control efforts.
"The management committee spent considerable time consulting the WA sheep and goat industry around the inclusion of wild dogs in the scheme and the feedback we received unanimously identified wild dogs as the priority issue for the industry," Mr Rogister said.
"About 22 per cent of the producer contribution will fund on-ground wild dog control inside fenced areas, and the remaining funds will be used to continue the control program for virulent footrot."
Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) livestock committee chairman Chris Patmore said the government was double dipping with livestock producers already funding their Recognised Biosecurity Groups in order to tackle the issue of wild dogs, now they were expected to pay a further five cents per head sold toward it.
"The PGA wrote to the IFS management and expressed our disappointment in the rate increase," Mr Patmore said.
"We are not really impressed with it.
"It is good that it is being directed at wild dogs but it shouldn't be funded through the IFS when they are matching dollar for dollar through the Declare Pest Rate of RBGs - and especially when wild dogs are coming from State-owned land into the agricultural areas."
Mr Patmore said the PGA believed the less producers paid in levies the better and the IFS should not have raised the rate at all unless it was absolutely necessary.
Producers were able to opt out of the Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme by submitting a 'Notice of Opt-Out' form to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development before June 30.
Producers who opted out were not entitled to assistance and compensation via the scheme.
More information about the scheme and the process and conditions attached to opting-out are available from the website agric.wa.gov.au/IFS