Decision Maker Response

Richard Norton’s response

Richard Norton
Managing Director, Meat and Livestock Australia

Sep 25, 2018 — Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is a service provider to the red meat industry, not a regulator. We deliver research and development that contributes to producer profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness.

The Australian red meat industry cares about its livestock and drought preparedness is integral to any farm business. MLA provides a range of resources to assist and support farmers in drought planning and decision making when heading into a drought. As the current drought conditions have developed and impacted on farmers and communities across many parts of eastern Australia, the vast majority of those affected are reducing or have already reduced their herd and flock numbers, in some cases completely destocking.

MLA does not run breeding programs and has no authority to do so. Breeding decisions are made on-farm by farmers, who have been taking the worsening drought conditions into account by virtue of their destocking. As a result, Australia’s cattle herd is approaching a 30-year low.

I trust that this advice has clarified MLA’s role and the current drought situation for you. I can also assure you that in the performance of its service provider role MLA will continue to assist livestock producers manage through and then recover from the current drought.