Minister Gives New Line the Tick

By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

Last week Queensland Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson released the revised framework and location of the Cattle Tick Management line. It is essential that everyone in the sub-tropical region managing cattle, horses’, camelids, sheep and goats study and understand how the scheme impacts their property and situation.

Under the new bill the responsibility will be by individual farmers to not only to keep their property free of ticks, but ensure is no spread into the tick free zone. The new scheme will undoubtedly save the government money by shifting more responsibility to land and animal managers. These cost saving have been a key driver in changes to the biosecurity act along ensuring changes to cattle tick management in this state continue to protecting properties in the tick free zone by making the tick line more effective. The aim of reducing some movement restrictions will give greater management flexibility to improve travel times and reduce costs for farms in the tick infested zone to move cattle.

The change in the tick lines position was necessitated by the requirement under the new act to dispense with the protected zones and revert to just an infested and a tick free zone. Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) along with other farm organisations have lobbied hard to keep as many of the farmers who want to be in the free zone in that free area. But unfortunately there are some who will by no fault of their own now find themselves in the ticky zone. There may also be some who have not wanted to invest in clearing ticks up who will now be compelled to clear their property of ticks.

Government needs to look at avenues to assist dairy properties that are in reality free of ticks but are now on the infested side to remain tick free. The real test for the new structures and regulation though will be if they substantially improve the security of the free zone and the integrity of the tick line. Otherwise it will have been all for nothing.