The Queensland goat industry is under threat with the Queensland state government considering removing tag-free movements.
The impacts of such a change would be damaging for the harvested rangeland and dairy goat industries, where ear tagging cannot occur because of the OH&S issues related to the handling unmanaged goats or because the goats belong to an "earless" breed.
Tag-free movements in the harvested rangeland goat production system are only available direct to slaughter or direct to a registered goat depot.
Tagging harvested rangeland goats travelling direct to an abattoir or registered depot will not improve traceability of biosecurity.
It would only be an additional cost for goat farmers already dealing with one of the worst droughts on record.
Producers who are not following the LPA rules and who are treating managed goats as rangeland goats need to be held to account and punished.
The goat industry should not be punished for the actions of a few.
The lack of industry consultation and pace at which the proposed legislative change is being progressed is of great concern to Queensland goat producers.
It indicates the state government is making a rushed and unilateral decision without an understanding of the consequences.
AgForce, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) and the national goat representative body, GICA, have worked tirelessly over the past five days to collate submissions highlighting the issues and unqualified assumptions made in the proposed change.
From a NSW Farmers perspective, we are concerned the Queensland proposal will create two traceability systems across Australia, which would compromise traceability and biosecurity rather than improve it, undoing the proactive work being done in this space.
We remain committed to ensuring tag-free movements are retained for goat producers in NSW and will continue to oppose any changes to the current system that underpins market access.
- Katie Davies is vice chair of the NSW Farmers Goat Committee