Aussie beef industry battles drought

AUSTRALIA - Australia’s beef industry has been commended for maintaining high-quality products and establishing new markets—despite having to battle the worst drought on record.
calendar icon 25 May 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, congratulated the industry when addressing the Cattle Council of Australia’s annual general meeting at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Mr McGauran said that the cattle industry had shown extraordinary resilience in the face of the current severe and prolonged drought.

“I am acutely aware of the concerns that have been raised by the dairy and cattle industry over fodder shortages and access to water—especially in the Murray-Darling Basin,” he said. “The government has responded by providing the Cattle Council of Australia and Australian Dairy Farmers with $400,000 to conduct a series of workshops to help farmers better-manage the fodder shortage and its impacts on herd numbers and quality.”

Mr McGauran said that despite these challenges, beef remained Australia’s most valuable agricultural export.

“Last year alone, beef contributed $4.8 billion to our export earnings, and the live cattle trade brought another $446 million. These are impressive results at the best of times, but truly exceptional given the severity of the current drought.”

Mr McGauran said it was expected the industry would soon face a strong challenge from the US, with American meat recently allowed back into key markets following its previous exclusion due to BSE.

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