Have your say on the Sheep and Goat IFS and its relevance to WA wild dogs!

Issued Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
WAFarmers is seeking input from members regarding the Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme (IFS) and how it relates to wild dogs in WA. In particular, there are three policy questions to consider (outlined below) which would require input. Information relevant to these questions is provided below for consideration.

  • Do we support an increase to the Sheep and Goat IFS to cover wild dog controls inside dog fenced areas?
  • Do we support the Sheep and Goat IFS providing funding toward the maintenance of the State Barrier Fence?
  • Do we support the proposed increase in the contribution rate of 30 cents per head/carcass, by the Cattle IFS?

Background information
Current IFS contributions, for the 2017-18 financial year
  • Sheep and Goat IFS: Producers pay a 10 cent contribution on the sale of each animal/carcass produced within the state, to fund a program to control virulent footrot.
  • Cattle IFS: Producers pay a 20 cent contribution on the sale of each animal/carcass [produced within the state, to fund surveillance programs for bovine tuberculosis, Johne’s disease in cattle, and enzootic bovine leucosis.
  • Grain and Seed IFS: Producers pay a 25 cent contribution on the first sale of every tonne of grain and seed grown within the South West Land Division of WA, to fund programs to manage skeleton weeds and eradicate three-horned bedstraw.
  • Hay IFS: Hay producers pay a contribution of 12.5 cents per tonne on the first sale of hay grown within the South West Land Division, to fund programs to manage skeleton weed and eradicate three-horned bedstraw.

WAFarmers Livestock Council position, to date
Sheep and Goat IFS:
Earlier this year, WAFarmers responded to the Sheep and Goat IFS Management Committee (S&G IFSMC) saying we supported the proposed inclusion of wild dog controls as a priority pest under the IFS. The S&G IFSMC suggested that the bulk of any IFS investment should be used for on-ground action to eradicate the problem inside dog-fenced areas.

The S&G IFSMC asked the WA Wild Dog Alliance how IFS funds could be used to address gaps and/or complement the investment rhat is occurring with regard to wild dog control in WA. The advice received from the Alliance was that, at present, funding is needed to deploy four doggers in the northern and central agricultural areas. Although a formal program plan is still to be received, it is estimated that this would cost $470,000 per annum. It is the IFSMC’S expectation that any IFS funding for this program would be limited to three years, whilst Recognised Biosecurity Groups become established and dully operational.

The Alliance also asked for the S&G IFSMC’s views on the use of IFS funding for the ongoing maintenance of the State Barrier Fence. We must determine WAFarmers’ position on the Sheep and Goat IFS providing funding toward the maintenance of the State Barrier Fence – do we give in-principle support for this?

Cattle IFS:
An IFS contribution of 20 cents per head/carcass will be collected form the WA beef and dairy industries during 2017/18 for the annual regulatory programs targeting bovine tuberculosis, enzootic bovine leucosis and BJD, as has been the vase in previous years. This will include passive surveillance, border controls, and regulatory actions and investigation, should disease be found.

A targeted surveillance program for BJD will also be undertaken using funds already held in the IFS accounts. The results of this program will provide the evidence required to statistically verify the prevalence of BJD in WA and underpin future decisions on BJD management in the state.

Secondly, the Minister for Agriculture and Food supports the inclusion of wild dog controls to be funded via the Cattle IFS, and was of the strong opinion that, while cattle values are high, the industry must invest in its ongoing biosecurity and sustainability.

The Cattle IFSMC are proposing the WA cattle industry contribute approximately $240,000 in 2017/18 for relevant and appropriate on-ground wild dog control activities. This equates to an increase in the contribution rate of 30 cents per head/carcass, and has the full support of the Minister. Any wild dog program funded by the Cattle IFS will complement the other wild dog activities being undertaken across the state.

Grain and Seed, and Hay IFSs:
To date, the Grain and Seed, and Hay IFSs have not proposed an increase to the contributions for wild dog management.

Provide your comments! 
Email WAFarmers’ Livestock Executive Officer Kim Haywood on kimhaywood@wafarmers.org.au or call (08) 9486 2100. Members’ input is due to Kim no later than 12.00pm Wednesday 9 August.