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The threat of African swine fever
MORE than 90 pork producers, service and product suppliers and government agencies at- tended an African swine fever seminar held in Kingaroy on January 31.
The highly informative and interactive seminar was an initiative of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisher- ies under the co-ordina- tion of DA F Pork Exten- sion Officer Sara Willis.
Senator Susan McDon- ald also attended the sem- inar to further build her knowledge of ASF and better understand the key issues facing the industry.
Pork Queensland Inc was pleased to assist in chairing the event, which was financially supported by the following compa- nies: Novus, DSM, Jefo Australia, BEC Feed Sol- utions, Biomin, AusPac Ingredients and Zamira Australia.
Topics included:
1. An overview of ASF, the AUSVETPLAN and compensation arrange- ments under EADRA.
2. Australian Govern- ment plans and activities around border control.
3. Government’s re- sponse to a detection.
4. Methods of destruc- tion and disposal.
5. The role of Australian Pork Limited as the lead industry body.
6. Movement controls that would be applied, in- cluding transport proto- cols for pigs.
7. Minimum standards for on-farm biosecurity and emergency prepared- ness.
8. Feral pig control op- tions and the role of the Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association in managing ASF.
The seminar was part of the preparedness being offered by industry and government agencies to ensure all sectors under- stand how to prevent the entry of this devastating virus into Australia and implement the best con- trol measures if required.
With ASF established in Timor Leste and now confirmed in Indonesia it is so important our border control measures are fully adopted.
Participants at the semi- nar were informed on what was being done at all points of entry and what industry needs to have adopted to limit or prevent entry to their operations.
Queensland and Federal government Biosecurity officers provided a wealth of knowledge on all as- pects across prevention and control measures that would be implemented should an incursion occur.
Industry leaders also provided the audience with practical steps and interventions being im- plemented within their respective businesses, al- lowing producers to con- sider their application on their own farms.
The bottom line of the seminar was all parties need to work together and prevention through en- hanced biosecurity meas- ures is the key.
PQI urged pig farmers
and industry stakeholders to take up membership and support the state pig farming organisation pro- viding representation at all levels of government.
Contact president John Coward on 0407 622 166 for membership applica- tions.
Membership fee is only $300 per annum for pro- ducers with more than 300 sows or $150 for those with less than 300 sows.
Suppliers can also sup- port PQI with associate membership at only $200 per annum.
Kingaroy ASF seminar speakers with Senator Susan McDonald from north Queensland.
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Over 90 participants attended the ASF seminar.
Interest rate cut
welcomed by farmers
during tough times
LOWER interest rates on Regional Investment Corporation loans is welcomed good news for farmers, NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
“Farmers across the coun- try continue to be severely challenged by the unprece- dented drought conditions,” Mr Mahar said.
“Access to low-interest loans allows farmers to maintain valuable breed- ing stock and remain in business while the drought continues.
“And, when the rains fi- nally do fall, RIC funds will play an important role in helping farm busi- nesses recover and restore productivity.”
Mr Mahar said the Gov- ernment’s recent decision, announced by Ministers Littleproud and Corman was timely.
“The reduction of the already low RIC loan in- terest rates to 2.11 percent for Farm Business Loans and 1.65 percent for Wa- ter Infrastructure Loans is prudent,” he said.
“Interest payments can
be a significant cost bur- den for farmers and rep- resent substantial pressure during what are already incredibly tough times.”
The rate cut is in addi- tion to two years’ interest and repayment free and a three-year interest-only period on RIC loans of up to $2 million.
Mr Mahar acknow- ledged the Federal Gov- ernment’s ongoing action to assist farmers to man- age through the current drought.
“The priority must continue to be on ensur- ing RIC loans and other drought and bushfire sup- port measures are made available to farmers as soon as possible,” he said.
“What farmers need now is cash in their pock- ets.
“They can’t afford for their access to support to be tied up in red tape and bureaucracy.
“Time lags of weeks or even months are not in the best interests of farmers or the communities that rely on them.”
President’s Perspective
Australian Pork Newspaper, February 2020 – Page 9

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