WOOLPRODUCERS Australia has welcomed new members to its Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee following the departure of the peak national Merino breeders body.
New AHWA committee members MerinoLink and SRS Genetics Ltd joined Australian Wool Innovation (an observer) at its 11 August meeting.
Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders president Max Wilson said the body had resigned because “we just wanted to paddle our own canoe a bit more.”
“We just want to advocate to our own members on our own terms.”
WoolProducers said the new members joined existing members, the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association, the Australian Wool Growers Association, Animal Heath Australia (AHA) and the Australian Veterinary Association – Sheep, Goats and Camelids Vets Group (AVA).
WoolProducers rresident Mr Ed Storey said it was pleasing from a WoolProducers’ perspective to facilitate a forum for these important groups to come together to discuss matters relating to animal health, welfare and biosecurity.
The WoolProducers AHWAC was established to specifically provide advice on animal health and welfare levies administered by AHA.
AHA acts as the conduit for distributing levies collected under the Australian Animal Health Council (Livestock Industries) Funding Act 1996 for animal health related activities.
WoolProducers said the intent of the AHWAC membership is to ensure that a representative cross-section of producer groups are involved in determining that compulsory levy dollars are invested in an effective manner and that policy determinations are made in the best interests of the Australian wool industry as a whole.
“Not only do we seek to have relevant producer groups involved, we are also fortunate to have AHA, the AVA and now AWI as observers to provide technical insights on issues, facilitating collaboration and removing the chance of duplication of effort and levy expenditure in these areas,” Mr Storey said.
Some of the topics covered in the latest meeting included both sheep and wool traceability, pain relief for aversive procedures, emergency animal disease preparedness and response activities for the domestic wool supply chain following from Exercise Argonaut, updates on the Trust in Australian Wool campaign and the Sheep Sustainability Framework as well as a presentation from the APVMA.
“WoolProducers looks forward to continuing collaborating with this diverse group to ensure that tangible outcomes are achieved for all woolgrowers in these important areas”. Mr Storey said.
The next AHWAC meeting is planned for November.