Pastoral wait for farming decision

Pastoral wait for farming decision


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THE place of goats in the state’s pastoral lands remains a contentious topic with high prices raising the question about a change to legislation banning farming of the animal on pastoral leases.

THE place of goats in the state’s pastoral lands remains a contentious topic with high prices raising the question about a change to legislation banning farming of the animal on pastoral leases.

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A state government review into the topic is ongoing.

Livestock SA president Geoff Power said the group’s proposal was to allow landholders to fence off suitable areas and hold on to goats for longer to create a truckload.

“This is serious money and we have a resource so we might as well get a system in place,” he said.

In SA, much of the rangeland goat population is found in the Flinders Ranges and North East pastoral areas – just across the border from NSW where goats are farmed.

SA representative to Goat Industry Council Australia and Livestock SA ex-officio board member Peter Lauterbach, Peake, said there had been a call for change, with some progress made.

“There is still a really big anti-goat attitude in SA, but hopefully the high prices will stay and help to drive change,” he said.

Mr Lauterbach said he had been contacted by people throughout SA considering entering the industry.

“It is something getting into the back of people’s minds as a possibility,” he said.

A Stock Journal poll asking if goat farming should be allowed in SA pastoral leases received a strong response, with an 81.6 per cent yes vote.

Balah Station owner Sonya Irwin, Burra, said with the legislation as it is, opportunities were being missed in managing goats, particularly with prices so high.

Mrs Irwin believes, if managed properly, goats could become another livestock option for farmers.

She said the flow-on effects from the extra industry could filter through to other businesses, including transport operators, agents and local suppliers, as farmers install infrastructure.

“Goats should be viewed as an exciting prospect and an opportunity to go forward,” she said.

SA Pastoral Board presiding member Geoff Mills said board policy on goats remained the same – “remove as many goats as possible”. He said he had no applications from lessees to change this policy.

“SA pastoral areas are probably in the best conditions in the nation and it’s very important to people to maintain that,” he said.

Mr Mills said good prices for goat meat could help control numbers.

“High prices will help maintain high level of control,” he said.

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