Drugs & Alcohol in the Shearing Industry

Drugs & Alcohol in the Shearing Industry

In May 2017, the Wool Industry Stakeholder’s Reference Group held a summit to address Drugs & Alcohol in the Shearing Industry. The summit was designed to align with the ongoing work of the reference group and focus on concerns raised by industry regarding the impact of drugs and alcohol on OH&S and industry reputation.

The Stakeholder Reference Group consists of:

  • WoolProducers Australia (WPA);
  • The Shearing Contractors Association of Australia (SCAA);
  • The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX); and
  • The WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA)
  • The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF); and
  • The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU).

The group was formed to support farmers, contractors, shearers and shed staff when responding to reports of workplace health and safety risks involving alcohol and drugs through the development of practical guidance materials. The ultimate aim being to protect the farmer, the shearing contractor and the employee from safety issues that arise when someone turns up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Summit provided an opportunity for the group to bring together the broader wool industry, provide an update of current work and facilitate feedback.

The group is working on the development of policy for managing drug and alcohol use in the workplace, as presented at the Summit. The remoteness of many properties on which shearing is conducted, combined with the multi-layer structure of the workforce can create confusion around who has responsibility for enforcement, who bears costs and who carries liability. The development of a policy to address this will provide important guidance for all parties to the shearing operation and is a tool that property owners and contractors can utilise to address concerns.

Best practice tools and strategies central to on-farm OJD control

MEDIA RELEASE

Management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia beyond 2018 will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia, enabling producers to still be able to use all the on-farm practices and tools currently recommended as part of a best practice approach to control.

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WPA Young Professional is Hong Kong Bound

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WoolProducers Australia is delighted to have their Policy Officer Teresa Hogan selected as an Australian Young Professional Delegate to attend the 87th Annual International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) Congress in Hong Kong, starting today 14 May, 2018.

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Wool levy payers may be paying twice – WoolProducers Australia

Wool levy payers may be paying twice – WoolProducers Australia

Wool levy payers needed to ask if they were again paying for genetic data they had previously funded under Sheep Genetics Australia (SGA) and consider the question of how vital R&D programs were being funded.

This was the view today of WoolProducers’ Australia CEO, Jo Hall, who said it would be ‘disappointing’ to learn wool growers may have to ‘pay retail’ for access to analytical data they had previously part-funded.

AWI contentiously withdrew its share of funding for the SGA management agreement with fellow R&D provider Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) last year.

The agreement had meant that wool growers through AWI, had contributed half of the development costs for a range of genetic programs including MERINOSELECT, the genetics evaluation program for Merino sheep.

“WPA has always had concerns that the long-term consequences of AWI ceasing to fund the genetics program had not been properly considered,” Ms Hall said.

In its submission to the 2014 public consultation into Genetic Benchmarking: Potential for Further Commercialisation of AWI-funded or part-funded projects after June 2015, WPA supported an operationally expanded version of the program

Under this proposal, breeders would pay for private-good and MLA and AWI would fund public-good R&D and the two would continue jointly managing Sheep Genetics Australia.

“At the time WPA urged AWI to continue investment in genetic benchmarking services, Sheep Genetics, MERINOSELECT and AMSEA,” Ms Hall said.

“Collaboration between traditional and scientific approaches to benchmarking was to be encouraged and needed to be pursued.”

Following the public consultation in 2014, levy payer feedback delivered a clear mandate for ongoing investment. AWI then commissioned a separate economic assessment of its investment in genetics and found a negative return on investment.

The economic report conducted by BDA Group was widely criticised at the time for not appropriately valuing genetic gain and the basis of the assumptions used.

Since the decision was made by AWI that investment in SGA would cease they have launched Merino Lifetime Productivity, which relies on data analysis through OVIS – now managed solely by Meat and Livestock Australia.

‘WoolProducers Australia hopes that there is a way for this genetic data to be accessed on behalf of wool growers for future programs without them having to pay twice.” Ms Hall said.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


Expressions of Interest Extended- National Sheep Industries Biosecurity Strategy

 

 

Expressions of Interest Extended- National Sheep Industries Biosecurity Strategy

WoolProducers Australia in conjunction with Sheep Producers Australia wish to advise that expressions of interest have been extended for the National Sheep Industries Biosecurity Strategy and are calling for proposals by close of business 20th of December 2017.

The National Sheep Industry Biosecurity Strategy will build the awareness and capacity of Australia’s sheep and wool producers to protect their properties and animals from the entry and spread of pests, disease and weeds. The Strategy will facilitate the improvement of sound on-farm biosecurity measures while enhancing Australia’s reputation as a producer of food and fibre that is safe and ethically produced.

More broadly, an effective biosecurity strategy provides an environmental and economic benefit, and consequently a public good, through higher levels of awareness, surveillance and improved response arrangements that reduces the impact and cost of a disease or pest incursion.

The development of the Sheep Industry Biosecurity Strategy provides an opportunity to review existing programs and tools that make up and contribute to the National biosecurity system and align them to form the basis of an effective biosecurity system that can be implemented by sheep producers while enhancing the credentials of the supply chain.

Please contact us, at info@woolproducers.com.au for further details of the project.

 

 


Johne's Disease

Johne’s Disease

Johne’s disease (JD) is an incurable, infectious wasting disease affecting various species of animal. It can result in significant economic losses on infected farms due to livestock deaths and loss of production. In Australia, JD has been found in cattle, sheep, goats, deer and camelids.

Johnes Disease is caused by the of the bacterium Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, which live mainly in animal intestines, but can survive in the outside environment for several months. The presence of JD leads to the intestinal wall slowly thickening, causing reduced absorption of nutrients from the intestine. The infected animal is hungry and eats, but cannot absorb any nutrients. This results in wasting and finally death.

A number of strains of M. paratuberculosis have been identified and it is recognised that they are all capable of infecting a number of ruminant species.

For further reading on the disease recognised signs and symptoms: Johnes Disease

National Ovine Johne’s Disease Management Plan 2013-2018

The National OJD Management Plan has been prepared by WoolProducers Australia and the Sheepmeat Council of Australia to assist industry in managing Ovine Johnes Disease and preventing its spread.

Background

Ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) has become endemic in some sheep production areas of Australia but in other areas the disease is not known to exist or exists at a very low level. SCA and WPA conducted a review in the National OJD Management Plan 2007-12 and embarked on a thorough consultation process throughout 2011-13 to evaluate the plan and make a decision on future national management arrangements.

For more details on the consultation process, feedback from industry and the rationale used when making the policy decisions that led to the 2013-2018 plan, please visit the website, www.ojd.com.au.

The plan is due for review in early 2018.

Objectives

  1. Minimise the risk of infection by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Mptb) OJD spreading to properties and regions that currently appear disease free
  2. Reduce the financial impact and adverse animal health and welfare effects of the disease on individual flocks, and on the sheep industry as a whole. Funding Under the plan, funding will be provided for:
  3. Extension/communication activities to provide producers with information about biosecurity and management of OJD.
  4. Developing and refining risk assessment tools, such as the National Sheep Health Declaration (SHD) to assist producers make informed decisions when trading sheep.
  5. Developing an effective abattoir program as a tool for monitoring individual flock OJD control programs and for use as an assurance tool in low-risk flocks. Abattoir monitoring for OJD will become a part of the broader endemic disease monitoring and feedback system.
  6. Ongoing research and development to help producers minimise the impact of OJD on their businesses.
  7. Contributing to the cross-species National Johne’s Disease Control Plan, including SheepMAP Vaccination and a regional biosecurity approach will not be provided with financial support by the OJD Management Plan 2013-18.

Vaccination

The plan encourages the use of vaccination as it is the only tool available to reduce the clinical expression of the disease and for significantly reducing the level of shedding by infected sheep.

Sheep Health Declaration

The SHD will be a series of ‘yes’ / ‘no’ questions. It will form the risk assessment tool to provide producers with the relevant information to make sound trading decisions.

The onus will be on producers to request a completed SHS when purchasing sheep. It will provide information on the consignment and the flock of origin for the other major endemic sheep conditions, for producers to determine if the consignment presents an acceptable level of risk to their own enterprise.

For a copy & more information: Sheep Health Declaration

Zoning

There will be no nationally recognised zones or areas in relation to OJD prevalence under the OJD Management Plan 2013-18.

Biosecurity Plans Producers will be encouraged to develop property and regional biosecurity plans (RBPs), but this is not mandatory under the OJDMP 2013-18 therefore there will be no national mechanism for approving RBPs. RBPs will outline how groups of producers will be able to detect, control and manage endemic diseases with the aim of minimising the spread of endemic conditions, including OJD.

Further, by actively managing disease risk, producers will need to negotiate trading opportunities with those states and regions with biosecurity plans in place. Non-financial support will be provided for groups of producers who wish to implement RBPs.

Additional Information Like previous plans producers will need to manage their own risk and tools will be provided for this, including SHS, RBP guidelines and business rules and advice.

The SHS, as well as guidelines and templates for those producers who want to develop and RBP, are available at http://www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/

Best practice tools and strategies central to on-farm OJD control

MEDIA RELEASE

Management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia beyond 2018 will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia, enabling producers to still be able to use all the on-farm practices and tools currently recommended as part of a best practice approach to control.

Read More

WPA Young Professional is Hong Kong Bound

MEDIA RELEASE

WoolProducers Australia is delighted to have their Policy Officer Teresa Hogan selected as an Australian Young Professional Delegate to attend the 87th Annual International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) Congress in Hong Kong, starting today 14 May, 2018.

Read More

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National Sheep Health Monitoring Project

National Sheep Health Monitoring Project

The National Sheep Health Monitoring Project (NSHMP) is a joint project with Animal Health Australia, WoolProducers and Sheepmeat Council. The project commenced in 2007 to monitor lines of adult sheep in abattoirs for animal health conditions that reduce farm profit through productivity losses or wastage in meat processing plants through condemnations.

Click here to find out more about the NSHMP

The aims of the NSHMP are:

  • Monitor sheep for a range of significant animal health diseases and conditions which reduce productivity in the sheep value chain or can impact on market access
  • Provide feedback to producers about the conditions occurring in their flock
  • Enhance productivity within the sheep value chain by improving the quality of product entering the chain
  • Explore options for a comprehensive and cost-effective animal disease monitoring/surveillance system and post-mortem inspection service that will provide accurate and timely animal health information.

Nineteen significant animal health conditions are monitored for throughout Australia. These are:

Grass seeds

Arthritis

Cheesy gland

Sheep measles

Lung worm

Pleurisy

Pneumonia

Vaccine Lesions

Bladder worm

 

Hydatids

Liver fluke

Dog bites

Knotty gut

Sarcocystis

Rib Fractures

Bruising

Cirrhosis

Nephritis

Fever/ Septicaemia

The NSHMP has generated a comprehensive and contemporary data set that provides a good indication of the animal health status of the Australian flock. This information can be used by governments, industry groups and processors to provide solid evidence in support of market access and demonstrates the quality of Australian product.For more information about these diseases, visit National Sheep Health Monitoring Program.

The information provided to individual producers can assist them improve their flocks’ productiveness and fine tune their animal health programs. For processors there is the opportunity to reduce product non-compliance, lifting productivity and reducing costs.

The data collected from this project is uploaded to the newly launched Livestock Data Link (LDL) and individual producer data can be viewed using the myMLA login. For more details on the LDL and how it works visit MLA’s website: Livestock Data Link

This data collation will lead to further improvements in Australia’s animal health status, maximised market access, improved profitability, informed future investment into R&D, and enhanced biosecurity.

Best practice tools and strategies central to on-farm OJD control

MEDIA RELEASE

Management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia beyond 2018 will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia, enabling producers to still be able to use all the on-farm practices and tools currently recommended as part of a best practice approach to control.

Read More

WPA Young Professional is Hong Kong Bound

MEDIA RELEASE

WoolProducers Australia is delighted to have their Policy Officer Teresa Hogan selected as an Australian Young Professional Delegate to attend the 87th Annual International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) Congress in Hong Kong, starting today 14 May, 2018.

Read More

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National Wild Dog Action Plan

National Wild Dog Action Plan

This National Wild Dog Action Plan (NWDAP) has been developed to guide the implementation of the nationally-agreed framework for the strategic and risk based approach to wild dog management. The plan emphasises humane, safe and effective management techniques and appropriate scales for mitigating the impacts of wild dogs.

Vision

Stakeholders work together to deliver effective, coordinated and humane management of wild dogs in Australia.

Mission

The plan provides direction for the National management of wild dogs to minimise their negative impacts on agricultural, biodiversity and social assets.

The Plan is an industry-driven initiative, developed in response to the increasing number of wild dogs throughout the Australian mainland; their increasing negative impacts on primary production, the environment and social assets; and the need for the nationally coordinated approach to dealing with these issues.

While recognising the need for national coordination, the wild dog management work already being conducted by local and regional groups must be acknowledged. In the National Interest, the Plan seeks to build on and strengthen that work, consistent with local priorities and imperatives, It is important that any national approach harness the efforts and expertise of these local and regional groups in mitigating wild dog impacts. The plan also acknowledges the range of work undertaken by research organisations, both nationally and state-based, which have been be taken into account as the Plan works through implementation phases.

The Plan Update

The activities in the National Wild Dog Action Plan 2014-2019 are delivered by the Wild Dog Management Projects Stages 1 and 2. The activities will improve wild dog management across Australia by promoting a common and collaborative approach (including nil-tenure management) to wild dog management, by supporting land managers to gain relevant skills in wild dog management, and making information on tools and techniques for wild dog management more accessible.

Activities:

  1. National coordination, consultation and communications
  2. Securing investment partners for the Plan’s future activities to 2019
  3. Community-led wild dog management in areas where problems are escalating or emerging
  4. Providing land and pest managers with current skills for wild dog management
  5. Updating and distributing existing information and developing new resources for land managers and the community
  6. Nationally agreed data collection and evaluation to standardis measures for wild dog control

Achievements:

  1. A robust governance and consultative framework with diverse stakeholder membership of the Implementation Steering Committee, Stakeholder Consultative Group and Working Groups covering Training and Extension, Communications and Engagement, Investment and Collaboration, Research and Development and Metrics
  2. Improved alignment of state wild dog management strategies with the National Wild Dog Action Plan
  3. A skill set in wild dog management identified and piloted for professional pest animal controllers
  4. Current PestSmart Connect resources available
  5. A Research and Development gap analysis promoted to funding and supporting organisations
  6. Investment collaboration valued at $209,500 ($94,500 cash contribution) enhanced the consultation processes, training and extension activities and initiated the development of standardised measures

To download of copy of the plan download here

To find out more information, and to be kept up to date visit PestSmart.Org

Best practice tools and strategies central to on-farm OJD control

MEDIA RELEASE

Management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia beyond 2018 will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia, enabling producers to still be able to use all the on-farm practices and tools currently recommended as part of a best practice approach to control.

Read More

WPA Young Professional is Hong Kong Bound

MEDIA RELEASE

WoolProducers Australia is delighted to have their Policy Officer Teresa Hogan selected as an Australian Young Professional Delegate to attend the 87th Annual International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) Congress in Hong Kong, starting today 14 May, 2018.

Read More

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow Us

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WoolProducers Australia Condemns Animal Cruelty

MEDIA STATEMENT

 

31 March, 2017

 

WoolProducers Australia condemns animal cruelty

WoolProducers Australia has come out strongly in response to today’s sentencing of four shearers being convicted of animal cruelty in Horsham’s Magistrate Court.

 

WoolProducers strongly condemns animal cruelty and anybody found committing these offences has no place in the wool industry, as they are jeopardising the reputation of the vast majority of wool growers and shearers who treat animals humanely and with care on a daily basis.

 

Shearing is an extremely difficult job, but it is done so across the country in varying conditions at least five days a week and there is never a need for cruelty to be inflicted on an animal.

 

Animal welfare is a key priority for the wool industry and one we take very seriously.

 

While this situation is extremely unfortunate, if there is any good to come from this, it is hoped that this case makes people aware at a grass-roots level that there are ramifications for animal cruelty and that it is not accepted by industry or the general public.

 

It is not WoolProducers place to comment on the specific details of these convictions.

 

ENDS

 

Jo Hall, CEO

WoolProducers Australia

0488 554 811


Senate Estimates – Does it pass the Woolgrower Test?

Senate Estimates – Does it pass the Woolgrower Test?

28 February, 2017

WoolProducers Australia (WPA) today has one question for woolgrowers – does the staff ex gratia payouts granted by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) pass the woolgrower test?

The question follows AWI’s appearance at today’s Senate estimates hearing, where it was revealed that a number of outrageously high staff redundancies and additional ex gratia payments were paid during the last financial year.

Under questioning today, AWI reported that ex gratia payments made to former staff were well above both the National Employment Standards and the Australian Public Service. These payments are additional to the obligatory accrued leave and notice periods required.

Senate estimates this morning revealed that one employee who was employed on a full-time basis for five years receiving a salary of $311,000 (and six years’ prior as a consultant to AWI), was then granted an additional ex gratia payment of nearly $100,000 when made redundant.

WPA Senior Vice-President Ed Storey said “while understanding and happily accepting that every employee is required to be paid any outstanding entitlements, these payments are plainly excessive.”

The majority of AWI’s income comes from the compulsory levy paid by woolgrowers.

“As an industry owned, grower funded body these extreme payouts are being paid out of growers’ pockets. Mr Storey said.

Given the wool industry has no independent oversight mechanism for levy expenditure that other agricultural industries have, the Board of AWI has the final say in how grower money is spent. With this comes a huge responsibility to ensure that every dollar is spent in the best interest of growers.

In their 2016/17-18/19 Strategic Plan, AWI states that all staff are reminded of the ‘woolgrower test’, which according to AWI ‘underpins the day-to-day operations of all AWI staff across the globe – ‘would this action be acceptable to woolgrowers’.

“Upon hearing details of how these redundancies have been dealt with, particularly in comparison to woolgrower’s income, I doubt that these payouts would pass the woolgrower test.” Mr Storey concluded.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811