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NSW Government to review penalties for activism offences
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THE NSW Government is establishing a work- ing group to consider the adequacy of penalties for offences relating to unauthorised entry onto enclosed lands and unau- thorised filming.
They will also inves- tigate whether there are any barriers to successful prosecution for offences by activists against farm- ers.
This decision was made following a Parliamentary Inquiry into unauthorised filming or surveillance, which was held in August 2018.
APL was called as a wit- ness to the Inquiry, where CEO Andrew Spencer and Policy Analyst/In- house Counsel Alister Oulton provided evidence on the damaging effects of animal activism to the pig industry.
APL also provided an extensive submission that outlined the problems with existing legislation, inad- equacy of penalties and clear lack of deterrence for activists who trespass upon private property in order to express a political view.
Present on the Inquiry panel was Shooters, Fish- ers and Farmers MP Rob- ert Borsak as well as ani- mal activist turned politi- cian Mark Pearson.
APL CEO Andrew Spencer made it clear to the Inquiry that the ac- tivism movement had a broader philosophical objection to all livestock industries and arguments about ‘exposing cruelty’ were used to subvert their real objective of closing down all livestock indus- tries.
APL welcomed any at- tempt by the government
to reduce the threat activ- ists pose to pig producers and specifically encour- aged a review of the way existing legislation is be- ing applied.
The Inquiry noted through a submission from NSW Farmers that no conviction had been recorded under the Sur- veillance Devices Act in its 11 years of operation.
This is despite numerous cases of trespass and film- ing by activists in NSW, clearly showing there is a need to look into the effectiveness of the leg- islation.
In addition to the trivial penalties being enforced on trespassers who are convicted, this shows a direct need for a review of the legislative framework.
APL is pleased the NSW government has committed to reviewing
these serious issues.
The recent publication of producer details on the ‘Aussie Farms’ map (APN February 2019) is present- ing as a catalyst for pro- ducer groups, state and federal governments and the NFF to step up ac- tion against illegal animal
This work is ongoing. For further details about the Inquiry and APL’s measures in protecting producers from activists, please contact General Manager Policy Deb Kerr on 02 6270 8803 or deb. au
The long and the short of it
Marketing Matters
A COUPLE of mar- keting writers have recently published updated findings on marketing effective- ness.
Basically, their work says if marketers fo- cus about 60 percent of their activity on long- term branding and 40 percent on short-term sales drivers, that is about the ideal balance.
Individual producers have exactly the same decisions to make, and Australian Pork Lim- ited wants to make sure we keep produc- ers aware of possible future plans as they evolve.
The production sur- vey’s forecast by week and the feedback from industry both appear to suggest that between now and June 2019, pro- duction numbers will remain below last year.
It appears the over- supply crisis (at least since the price low point in August last year) may be abating.
It is possible the full effect of the increased sow slaughters last year has not been fully felt yet.
The production sur- vey suggests by June the weekly slaugh- ter rate will be about 94,000-96,000 pigs per week.
In the pig cycle, when producers move from a loss into a profit they tend to enjoy that prof- itability for a while.
This was evident af- ter the 2007-8 crisis where once the high pig prices were over in late-2010, pork produc- tion grew at about 2 percent per year for the next five years as pro- ducers recovered their financial positions.
However, recovery from the oversupply of 2017 and 2018 is slightly different.
The price peak and the rapid expansion of production was the result of the indus- try’s success and in- vestment, resulting in higher productivity.
Now that production
is running below last year, if there is higher productivity that must mean there is spare ca- pacity not being used.
This results in the possibility that as soon as pigs become profit- able, the spare capacity will be very tempting to those who have it.
However, grain price uncertainty may well act as a deterrent against that temptation in the short term.
Obviously, every producer makes their own commercial deci- sions based upon their own circumstances and judgements.
At a meeting of in- dustry marketing folk recently, there was a high degree of support for the idea of spending less on ‘get some pork on your fork’ and try- ing to create new levels of demand in Austral- ian ham and bacon as well as export.
In the short term, this will decrease the re- turn on investment of our marketing.
But we hope to learn how we can contribute to lower volatility and more certainty if the seven-year cycle per- sists.
This was still sup- ported, even though lower slaughters means APL will have fewer levies to support de- mand in 2019 and 2020.
While the final de- cisions are not made, the marketing people in the room estimated demand for fresh pork may increase by as lit- tle as 1 percent in the coming 15 months.
If that is the case, APL will have little ca- pacity to help demand in the short term while we are trying to learn how to avoid future volatility.
We are contemplating focusing more than 60 percent on the long of it and intend to work more closely with the whole supply chains to maintain the short of it.
We just thought you should know.
by PETER HAYDON General Manager Marketing
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Page 6 – Australian Pork Newspaper, March 2019

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