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MacLoran Farm

Govt cuts brands register for livestock production in SA

Livestock SA is disappointed the State Government will no longer keep a record of livestock brands registered by farmers following its repeal of the Brands Act 1933.

The brands system was administered by Biosecurity SA and the repeal came into effect on January 1, 2016.

Livestock SA has been advised by PIRSA that the policy change occurred because there was no longer a regulator requirement for a brands system because of the National Livestock Identification Scheme and Property Identification Codes.

Livestock SA president Geoff Power says the organisation is disappointed with the change and believes a government‐administered brands system is still needed to help with biosecurity and stock theft identification in the livestock industry.

“Not only should the brands system continue but it needs to be updated to ensure its integrity as part of the biosecurity process. It is disappointing that this system has not been maintained because it is still an important way of identifying livestock, particularly locally. It also is a way of showing proof of ownership when required,” he said.

“Losing Section 59 of the Act could make it harder for any inspectors or police to go onto farms to inspect suspected stolen livestock, potentially leading to fewer prosecutions for stock theft.”

Mr Power says the change had not been well managed and was an example of government pushing another cost back to producers.

“PIRSA has said that livestock producers will continue to be able to use brands and earmarks in the absence of a regulated brands system. It has put the onus back onto Livestock SA to manage a system on behalf of industry and said the producers should liaise with their neighbours about what brands they would apply.

“We are also disappointed at the way the change has been managed. Livestock SA had a PIRSA representative attend a board meeting in March 2015 to explain the current arrangement and then received advice later in November that the Act would be repealed.

“The change does not make sense given that in most other Australian states, brands are still actively used.”

PIRSA’s records of registered brands will be archived by State Records of South Australia.

Published: 6 January 2016