Beef forum eyes challenges

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Australian Lot Feeders' Association president Bryce Camm.
Camera IconAustralian Lot Feeders' Association president Bryce Camm. Credit: Bob Garnant

Dramatic visions of lifeless cattle during the Queensland drought have been flashed in front of members of WA’s lot feeding industry, a stark reminder that drought and floods have always been a part of Australia’s fabric.

The thought-provoking images, in biblical proportions, were presented by Australian Lot Feeders Association president Bryce Camm while speaking at the Better Beef forum held recently at Kylagh Feedlot in Tammin.

Mr Camm said the Queensland drought had also ignited animal activists to push for the phasing out of animal production, which he said was “a frightening proposition”.

“Recently, 120 vegan activists trespassed on a Queensland feed-lot, hoping to build their case,” he said.

Mr Camm, who farms grain and grass-fed beef at Bowenville, in Queensland, stepped into the ALFA leadership role in October.

He said the challenges ahead also included the Federal Government’s pro-environment stance.

“What these issues mean to lot feeders will be told in how we manage them and how that will project in the process,” Mr Camm said.

“To our credit, the feedlot industry was the first agriculture sector to go to an independent audited system through the National Feed-lot Accreditation Scheme, which is now in its 25th year.”

Mr Camm said the NFAS needed to be continually reviewed to consider pen cleaning, shade, dags, antibiotics, pain relief and calving management.

“The challenges of meeting shelter requirements would be difficult,” he said.

“But sooner or later, this will be an issue, and so will increased attention on the use of pain relief.

“All of these challenges should be at the forefront of our minds.”

Mr Camm, who has introduced a new activism working group within ALFA, said producers would have to take a collaborative approach to managing animal activism.

“As lot feeders, we have to understand our legal rights,” he said.

Mr Camm, who is chief executive of Camm Agricultural Group, an integrated beef enterprise with interests across Queensland, has been active in many agriculture profiles.

As chair of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework sustainability steering group, he recognises six key priority areas, including the beef industry’s challenge to be carbon free by 2030.

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