ABA Warns Against Apathy On BSE Issue

AUSTRALIA - Australian Beef Association Chairman, Brad Bellinger has again warned the general community, as well as beef producers, against apathy over the BSE issue.
calendar icon 4 May 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

He said that the consumer group working with ABA had been amazed to find that the belief by the general community is that the battle has been won and no beef from countries with cases of BSE will be allowed into Australia.

Mr Bellinger said: “The announcement by Minister Burke that there would be an Import Risk Assessment that could last for up to two years and be performed by three different organizations had allayed community fears for the time being”.

Mr Bellinger said: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance - we must not forget that the potential for beef coming from countries that have had BSE is still a possibility.”

He continued: “I have advised the consumer group and producers to watch closely for any the results of the Import Risk Assessment when they begin to leak out. At that time community anger will resurface and Government will again be put under pressure.”

“The Senate RATT Committee, which has done such good work in having the decision to import put on temporary hold, meets again on 14 May in Canberra and has invited the ABA to give further evidence. We have accepted their invitation and we will be pointing out that the USA has negotiated trading rules with Taiwan, South Korea and Japan to allow trading of beef from cattle under 30 months”, Mr Bellinger said.

“The consequences of these agreements are very serious. If Australia was to import beef from the US, Canada or Japan we would be in the same category as they are. Over 80 per cent of our exports are from cattle that are over 30 months. The result would be a disaster for Australia’s beef export industry, which takes 67 per cent of our production. It would be a catastrophe for Australia’s beef producers, as we would have great difficulty meeting that 30 month age cut off,” Mr Bellinger warned.

“The ABA will continue to highlight the truth and keep the “people power” powder dry for the day that Government talks of allowing beef imports into Australia again,” Mr Bellinger said.

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