South Australia’s livestock industry is set to benefit from an injection of $3.7 million of industry funds to strengthen market access, enhance animal health and assist disease surveillance and traceability.
The Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone has approved $3.12 million to support initiatives from the Sheep Industry Fund and $579,000 from the Cattle Industry Fund as recommended by the South Australian Sheep and Cattle advisory groups.
Projects to be funded in 2018-19 from the Sheep and Cattle Industry funds include footrot management, enhanced abattoir surveillance, and Johne’s Disease management programs, as well as contributing to the state’s wild dog strategy.
Minister Whetstone said farmers’ contributions provide an important stimulus to the growth of the livestock industry in South Australia.
“This investment by the industry has long term benefits for our farmers and continues to support South Australia’s strong reputation in animal health management and biosecurity.”
“South Australia’s cattle and sheep industries generated $4.1 billion in revenue in 2016–17 and make a significant contribution to the state’s economy,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a vision for our livestock industry that would see an increased flock and larger herd to take advantage of strong cattle, sheep and wool returns.
“For example, we have invested $2.25 million from the Regional Growth Fund to work in partnership with industry and our Aboriginal communities to re-open pastoral lands for livestock production.”
Minister Whetstone said the funds also invest $20,500 in development of the next generation of farmers by supporting the Junior Heifer Expo, Dairy Youth Development Program, Sheep Expo and Mid North Young Guns Improving Welfare and Health Program.
Sheep Advisory Group chair Ian Rowett said it was important industry funding maintains robust and relevant animal health programs.
“It’s essential the funding focusses on key animal health programs to manage sheep diseases, OJD and footrot, as well as sheep lice and other programs delivering disease surveillance and traceability,” said Mr Rowett.
“Predator control is an important investment priority and our industry funds are supporting the maintenance of the Dog Fence and management of wild dogs through baiting and wild dog trapper programs.”
Cattle Advisory Group chair Lyndon Cleggett said the funding has been prioritised for specific programs.
“The Bovine Johne’s Disease and National Livestock Identification Scheme compliance programs are crucial to maintaining access to existing markets, securing new ones and supporting efficient and sustainable production,” said Mr Cleggett.
“Supporting the South Australian Junior Heifer Expo and Dairy Youth Development Program will ensure there is a strong future for the cattle industry.
“We recognise that a successful cattle industry relies on its people and it is important that industry participants are provided with training and development opportunities.”
The Sheep Industry Fund and Cattle Industry Fund were established under the Primary Industry Funding Schemes Act 1998 and provide a way for South Australia’s primary industry sectors to raise funds so they can favourably position themselves in the national and international marketplace.