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Cattle Producers BEWARE!!! Global Animal Partnership

Global Animal Partnership (GAP) – a new scheme.   Another scheme – that will cost the producers only. 

Processors are now getting producers to sign up to this…..however, producers may like to take a peek at what they are getting involved in before they sign.

A lot of the information/requirements come from the USA, and is written by the WWF – of course.  Look up www.globalanimalpartnership.org

When you think of how cattle are raised and managed in Australia (and anywhere else) then you realize that this was written by someone sitting in a New York office!  Someone very idealistic, quite disconnected from reality.

It is actually light entertainment, and quite funny to read.  

The table of contents includes a Farm Plan.   To ensure compliance you must have a written plan for all your animals, and this plan must be updated on a regular basis.

There are requirements with the housing of cattle, and ensuring they have room to all lay down, all at the one time!   

A section asks if you have problems with coyotes, wolves, bears, mountain lions, bobcats and even alligators. Insects and rodent control in feed are all spelt out in detail.

A producer must ensure that their cattle are given nutritional requirements to keep them in first-class order.  All cattle must be fed in a manner that enables their full ration at all times.

This Global Animal Partnership (GAP) talks about five steps needed to ensure correct animal care: no over-crowding,  an enriched environment, pasture scented,  no physical altercations between animals, and each animal is to be centred – that is, it’s entire life on the same farm.

Sourcing market animals from Saleyards or Auction Barns is prohibited!! Also, calves cannot be weaned till six months of age.

Cattle must be kept in conditions that are comfortable and do not cause any injury. They must be kept in good health and given veterinary attention when required.

The use of antibiotics is prohibited in market animals.  Any animal that must be treated with antibiotics must be identified and removed from your GAP herd.   That includes a female breeder – as her progeny cannot enter into the GAP herd.  Records must be kept of all treatments, even if they alternative remedies or medication.

Cattle must all have a body condition score of four or higher. Lame cattle numbers must not exceed 2% of the herd any time.

Cattle must not be mistreated in any way.  When handing cattle, ‘ranchers’ should be quiet and there should be no high-pitched noises.   

Cattle must not be moved for any longer than 2 hours at any time on ‘the farm’. They are to be taken of feed for 24 hours before transport to works.

The ‘rancher’ must check on cows and heifers that are calving and timely assistance given if necessary.  The number of ‘assisted calvings’ must not exceed 5% in any given year. 

Each farm must have a plan for the health of all animals and that plan must include bio- security measures.  Accurate records must be maintained.

Breeds must be carefully selected to ensure that cows and heifers can calve without assistance. The type of animal must be well matched with the system that they are raised under.

Ear notching is prohibited, bullied animals must be removed from the group and placed in a safe location, and there must be between 50 and 75% vegetation cover in any grazing area. All animals must have access to shelter. All cattle must be individually identified with ear tags.

Inspectors, employed by the processors,  must have full access to your documentation to prove compliance.

At present all audits are paid for, and arranged by, the processors!!  It is to be an annual audit!! When you consider how many producers supply to the abattoirs, the cost of annually auditing that many farms/records will ‘break’ the processors, so one can assume it will be passed on to producers in less cents per kilo, or will ultimately become our own cost to bear. 

Producers must realize that it if they all say NO to this plan, then it will fail!  We already have MSA standards, LPA, NVDs,  NLIS,….all designed to influence the management of our herds.  

This insane push to make cattle producers totally responsible for every aspect of a beast’s life shows a complete disconnect with reality and nature.  The fact that American terms and methods of raising cattle are used in an document presented to Australians is also symptomatic of the insanity. 

This is a totally impractical, irrational document, quite disconnected from the realities of the Australian cattle industry.  But the processors will catch on soon, change it to read more selectively for Australian conditions…..and you should STILL NOT SIGN IT!!!!   

We hope no one has done so. Good luck to those who have signed and who really believe that they are going to get a premium for always.    

America’s cattle number are at their lowest in over 30 years.  Ireland is now supplying America with beef and American steer prices are skyrocketing!! Australia’s cattle numbers are right down and the prospect of several years of low cattle numbers forcing prices right up is scaring the processors.       

The raising of cattle is one of the most diversified industries in the world.   You cannot sensibly set worldwide standards on the handling and management of cattle.   So why are they pushing this insanity onto our industry?   Would it be that we have already been forced to accept so many other costly and non-profiting (for producers) regulation that it was assumed that we would accept this as well?

It might be light entertainment and quite funny to read, but it is not funny to think that processors and industry would be that ridiculous as to try to force this on us.  

This is part of that Roundtable Sustainability Plan!!  Let’s turn the tables on them and start learning to say ‘NO!’  producers!! 

Australian cattle numbers have fallen rapidly.  The next few years will see cattle being sourced for better prices and demand will remain high.  DO NOT enter into this partnership!

This GAP document only highlights the irrational thoughts of animal activists who are being used by the multi-national processors to push these sorts of management controls on the world’s beef industry. 

Say NO! and simply do what you have always tried to do  –  raise good cattle, and keep improving your herd for your own benefit, which then benefits industry.

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