Cattle Industry Funding Scheme: Annual Report 2013/14

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2013/14 programs funded via ex-CICF

With the repeal of the Cattle Industry Compensation Act and commencement of the Industry Funding Scheme regulations under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act, funds from the Cattle Industry Compensation Fund (CICF), a fund established under CICA, were transferred to the Cattle IFS Account. These ‘ex-CICF’ funds are now managed by the Cattle IMC via the Cattle Industry Funding Scheme and can be used for projects that will benefit the Western Australian cattle industry.

National Livestock Identification System WA-based helpdesk

In May 2013, the IMC agreed to provide funding to operate the Western Australian National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) cattle helpdesk for two years. The decision was based on feedback from the WA cattle industry, and included an offer of co-funding from the Cattle Industry Biosecurity and Food Safety Association. As such, 70% of the costs of this project were used from the ex-CICF funds, and 30% was provided by the Cattle Industry Biosecurity and Food Safety Association. Ex-CICF funds were used, as IFS funds can only be used for projects relating to a pest or disease that has been declared under section 22 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act and specified under the IFS regulations.

The total cost of this service was $113 545 in 2013/14, of which $79 545 was provided by the Industry Funding Scheme.

The NLIS is an industry program that has been implemented across Australia. All industry sectors are required to comply with the NLIS regulations in order to provide lifetime traceability of cattle in the event of a disease outbreak or residue contamination. The NLIS enables any disease or residue incident to be quickly resolved, reduces the financial impact on the industry and minimises the disruption to markets.

The helpdesk provides a WA-based service to help Western Australian cattle producers meet their NLIS responsibilities.

During 2013/14, the WA NLIS Helpdesk responded to 5133 telephone and email enquiries (Table 5).

Table 5 Helpdesk enquiries from July 2013 to June 2014

Region Telephone Email Total
Pastoral area 311 521 832
Agricultural area 2006 2295 4301
Total 2317 2816 5133

The main topics for producer assistance have varied over time. More producers are requesting assistance with issues that stem from conducting database transfers rather than basic issues relating to NLIS itself. Most of the basic queries that are still received arise from producers who are new to the industry.

The number of system transfers as a proportion of total transfers has dropped over the period of the year from 2.8% to 2.7%, indicating that more producers are performing the required transfers correctly. The assistance provided by the Helpdesk is undoubtedly an important factor in this decrease.