Should NLIS be Suspended During the 'Big Wet'?

AUSTRALIA - The extent of stock losses and infrastructure damage across vast areas of North Queensland and the Northern Territory arising from the "Big Wet", are only beginning to emerge, warned Austrlian Beef Association Chairman Brad Bellinger.
calendar icon 28 January 2009
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The record falls of between 500-1000 millilitres since January 1st, while drought breaking in many areas, have unfortunately caused stock losses of up to 10% of drought weakened mobs through drowning and exposure, added Mr Bellinger.

Wide spread flooding has also seriously damaged boundary and internal fencing, allowing surviving stock to wander some 100 kilometres up or down stream. First round musters will be delayed many months until the country dries out and fences are repaired.

"We believe thousands of these wandering cattle would have no NLIS tags, so it will become the costly legal obligation of the owner of the recipient property, to apply that property's orange 'non-breeder' tag at $4 per head, before they can be transported home", said ABA.

"Additionally, where stock are found on neighbouring properties, they can suffer extra stress when mustered large distances to yards for tagging purposes, rather than just simply be put back through the repaired fence."

For every 25,000 deaths approx $100,000 worth of NLIS tags lie rotting in the tropical mud. Producers should not be mindlessly penalized any further. "We have already wasted $350 million on this white elephant scheme, so why put producers and cattle under unnecessary extra trauma," Mr Bellinger explained.

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