For many years, members of the livestock industry have been concerned about the extension of animal health, welfare and biosecurity information provided to industry. Through the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN), livestock producers will be made aware of the importance of animal health, welfare and biosecurity and be alerted to the latest science and legislation relating to their on-farm practices.
Cattle Council of Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers Australia have developed and implemented an industry funded network of extension officers for the express purpose of disseminating animal health, welfare and biosecurity information throughout industry. The network will utilise the skills and expertise of numerous organisations involved in producing information on animal health, welfare and biosecurity in order to share this information to livestock producers.
This network has been formalised as LBN Pty Ltd; the three Peak Industry Councils are its members. Five Directors have been appointed: David Palmer (Chairman), Kate Joseph, Geoff Fisken, Grant Maudsley and Hamish Munro. The Board has employed a National Manager, Warren Clark (pictured), who is based in Canberra, and six regional extension officers housed in most cases with State Farmer Organisations (SFOs).
The Australian Animal Welfare Strategy played a key role in the development of the LBN by providing $50,000 of seed funding to assist in the LBN’s creation. These funds were used to pay for a coordinator and a legal counsellor necessary to put the proposal together, formalise the company and secure funding for the network’s operations for the next three years (through till June 2016); further funding arrangements will be considered as that date approaches.
The LBN is funded with general livestock levies from the grass-fed-cattle, sheepmeat and wool sectors; the goat industry is currently considering whether to become involved. Given this funding base, the LBN will be servicing levy paying livestock producers from these sectors.
The LBN has now developed its strategic and business plans and its activities are gathering pace. Its primary role of information dissemination will be facilitated through close co-operation with Peak Industry Councils, SFOs, jurisdictional departments, producers and regional service providers, including livestock agents, transporters and saleyard operators. The private veterinary profession will also be utilised where possible.
Further information on LBN Pty Ltd can be obtained from its National Manager, Warren Clark, on 02 6269 5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.