The MATC is continuing to focus on trying to open export pathways into Europe – being the target market for Australia’s premium stud stock. A recent review conducted by the MATC highlighted how our entire membership can benefit either directly or indirectly if we can open export borders. There is a positive cascading effect on animal sales and prices at all levels in our industry when we are able to export. It is for these reasons that the Board, through the MATC, is continuing to work with the Australian Department of Agriculture Water and Environment (DAWE) to reopen trade pathways and capitalise on new market opportunities
NZ: Australia continues to meet the requests of the NZ MPI in relation to the acceptance of the recently developed Q Fever test. We are waiting for MPI to respond to the information that DAWE has presented. I acknowledge this process feels like “watching grass grow” – although maybe the grass is growing a bit faster at the moment!
Market Access for Australian alpacas into United Kingdom: Negotiations with our counterparts in the UK are progressing slowly. This is likely to be a protracted affair as it is linked to the BREXIT negotiations. If successful it will cut out the need for alpacas, destined for the UK, to spend 6 months in NZ. This will obviously increase the competitiveness of Australian by reducing the delivery time by 6 months and reducing the cost of the exporting process (i.e. 6 months agistment in NZ).
Australian Standard for the Export of Livestock (ASEL): You may recall we previously advised the new Australian Standard for Export of Livestock (ASEL) 3.0, to take effect on 1 November 2020, reduced the number of alpaca ( stocking density) in the crate on the aircraft. The proposed changes would have had a detrimental impact on the viability of exporting and resulted in an increase in costs of up to 30%. Whilst an increase in cost was of concern, our real focus was on the safety of the alpacas in the crate. By increasing the amount of space per alpaca – it increased the potential for the alpacas to be injured – especially during take-off, landing and any turbulence. AAA lodged a submission seeking an amendment to the already legislated and printed density stocking rate. Our submission contained valuable input from licensed alpaca exporters. We are very pleased to advise that we have been successful in achieving an amendment – basically reverting to the previous stocking rate. This is a significant win for our Industry!