J-BAS could restrict Ekka livestock entry

Livestock entry requirements for the Brisbane Ekka will be finalised next week, when the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) meet with industry representatives to discuss the Johne's Beef Assurance Score regulations.

After the Northern Territory changed it’s entry requirements to a J-BAS 7, RNA has been consulting with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to potentially do the same thing.

Queensland producers currently need to maintain a J-BAS 7 score to hold access to the Northern Territory market, by putting a biosecurity plan in place and conducting triennial check testing; making producers fully accountable for biosecurity and Johne’s Disease on their property.

RNA has been investigating its options to minimise the potential of Johne’s Disease contamination with livestock at the Ekka and are potentially looking at restricting entries of livestock to producers with a J-BAS 6 or higher.

A J-BAS 6 only requires a biosecurity plan to be in place by June 30, 2017.

RNA beef cattle committee chairman, Garry Noller, said the decision had not been finalised.

“We are looking towards a J-BAS 6 more than a 7 but that is from the advice we have received from DAF,” Mr Noller said.

“We have been talking to Rachael O’Brien from the Livestock Biosecurity Network who has been running seminars and webinars on the topic of J-BAS and biosecurity planning, and seeking her advice on the best avenue to take.

“Anyone selling stock it will affect especially supplying bulls to the north Brahman commercial herds, which could turn it into a restrictive trade because of the fact no one who is a J-BAS 6, 7 or 8 is not going to buy down as it will jepodise their score and their operation.

“There is still talk that the Northern Territory Government could drop their J-BAS requirement to a 6 but we are not sure on that yet as they haven’t conducted their review.”

“We cannot justify that we are doing anything in particular at this stage as we are still coming to terms as what it will mean for us as a society, we are aware of it and working towards an outcome.”

RNA will meet with industry representatives on Thursday May 25 to finalise what J-BAS score will be required for producers to enter in the show.