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Cattle industry in the Northern Territory

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(Statement by the Acting Minister for Territories, the Hon. William McMahon, M,P . )

The Acting Minister for Territories, the Hon= William McMahon, LLP., said today that owing to a severe and widespread drought during 1961/62 the cattle population ' of the Northern Territory declined by approximately 62,000

head? total cattle population is now estimated at 1,054,669 i head. Nevertheless cattle exports from the Territory " " amounted to 134,901 head valued at £3,792,256 which is regarded as very satisfactory in view of the unfavourable

conditions. '

Nearly 7,000 cattle were exported to l-long Kong during 1961/62, more than twice the number shipped to that market in 1960/61; this trade is expected to increase next year. Owing to lower beef prices however, and a decline in the number of animals turned off, the value of turnoff fell by

nearly £2 million compared with that of the previous year. These figures, provided by the Animal Industry Branch of the Northern Territory Administration, reflect that the Territory’s cattle industry is on a sound basis, despite

the fall in the value of turnoff0

Read transport again played an important part in, . moving cattle to market? 69,916 cattle representing 52* 2£ of the Territory’s total turnoff was transported by road. During the year the construction of a set of road transport

yards, complete with feeding and watering facilities near Tennant Greek was completed .and the yards have already been used by 1,000 head cf cattle.

Mr. McMahon stated also that the year 1961/62 was one of accelerated progress in uhe Northern Territory cattle industry, particularly in the field of animal husbandry9 Many stations embarked upon fencing programmes; yards and

other facilities were constructed; some northern stations established snail areas of improved pasture; and there was a quickening of interest in improved methods of husbandry, particularly in the fields of nutrition and breeding. The . establishment cf beef cattle extension schools in 1962 will give further stimulus to this movement.

The new abattoir in Darwin, which war. constructed by '7iJ.15.aui Angliss and Company, began operations during the year; this abattoir now provides centralized slaughtering facilities for Darwin. The processing cf buffaloes for human consumption expanded from 2,110 head in 1960/61 to '

3,077 head in 1961/62, and the Animal Industry Branch continued to provide an aerial inspection service for buffalo neat.

, lie - McMahon pointed out that there was a further

marked increase in the number of good quality bulls imported into the Territory under the Government ’ ^freight subsidy scheme, despite the cancellation of the Alice Springs bull sale because of drought. .

CANBERRA, A.O.T. 2nd” November, Ϊ962