Changes to transport subsidies for livestock-to-slaughter

NSW Department of Primary Industries Director-General, Barry Buffier, today announced a change to the package of drought support measures.

Mr Buffier announced that one particular transport subsidy – for the transport of livestock to slaughter or sale – will wind up next month.

"However, I want to emphasise that all other transport subsidies will continue as part of our commitment to continue drought support for as long as it is needed," Mr Buffier said.

This includes the following transport subsidies which will continue:

  • Transporting stock to and from agistment
  • Transporting stock fodder and water
  • Transporting domestic water

"These transport subsidies continue to attract strong demand – in fact, the State Government is still allocating around $150,000 a week in transport subsidies," he said.

"When the transport subsidies scheme was first established in July 2002, farmers were de-stocking on a large scale.

"In many cases, due to prolonged drought conditions, the stock were worth less than the price received at sale or slaughter. In these situations, the subsidies helped to protect the animals’ welfare and ensured they were treated as humanely as possible, in the face of extreme conditions.

"Now, most producers have reached their minimum core breeding stock and will wait out the drought to revive their stock numbers. In addition, livestock values are now relatively good, and except in very rare cases, more than cover the cost of transport.

"In response to these changed conditions, the stock-to-slaughter-or-sale transport subsidies will be phased out from 31 May.

"Producers who have transported livestock to sale or slaughter before April 30 have until the end of May to submit their subsidy applications.

"This is all about ensuring the NSW drought assistance package is targeted and best meets the needs of producers who are still fighting to survive the drought.

"Overall, transport subsidies have been one of the most popular of all our drought assistance measures. More than 58,600 claims have been made by farmers for all transport subsidies combined, with more than $61 million allocated to-date."

Mr Buffier encouraged all livestock producers with outstanding transport subsidy claims to submit them to their local Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) as soon as possible.

Media contact: Trudy Glasgow on (02) 6391 3312 or 0427 217 354.