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Importation of cattle - Cocos Islands animal quarantine station



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NEWS RELEASE

29/81

FROM THE COMMONWEALTH MINISTER FOR HEALTH I THE HON. M. J. R. MACKELLAR

-7Ιφ

IMPORTATION OF CATTLE - COCOS ISLANDS ANIMAL QUARANTINE STATION

The M i n i s t e r f o r H e a lth , th e Hon. M ic h a e l M a c K e lla r,

an n o u n ced to d a y t h a t th e f i r s t a n im a ls i n t o th e new a n im a l

q u a r a n tin e s t a t i o n a t Cocos I s l a n d w ould be c a t t l e o r i g i n a t i n g

from N o rth A m e ric a.

He s a i d th e f i r s t c o n sig n m e n t was e x p e c te d i n Nov­

em ber 1981. C a t t l e from N o rth A m erica w ere p e r m i t t e d i m p o r t a t i o n

o n ly d u r in g th e n o r t h e r n w i n t e r m onths when i n s e c t v e c t o r s o f

d i s e a s e w ere i n a c t i v e .

Mr M a c K e lla r p o i n te d o u t t h a t c o n s t r u c t i o n o f th e

s t a t i o n was v e ry w e l l a d v a n c e d . However th e a n im a l w a ste t r e a t ­

m ent and d i s p o s a l sy s te m w hich h ad b een s p e c i f i c a l l y d e s ig n e d

to m eet t h e e n v iro n m e n ta l and d i s e a s e c o n t r o l r e q u ir e m e n ts o f th e

s t a t i o n w ould n o t be f u l l y o p e r a t i v e u n t i l S e p tem b er 19 8 1.

'An e f f i c i e n t and e n v ir o n m e n ta lly a c c e p t a b l e sy s te m

f o r h a n d lin g a n im a l a f f l u e n t i s e s s e n t i a l f o r s t a t i o n o p e r a t i o n ,

g iv e n th e n eed f o r d i s e a s e s e c u r i t y and th e f i n e l y - b a l a n c e d

e n v iro n m e n t t h a t e x i s t s on Cocos I s l a n d , ' th e M i n i s t e r s a i d .

T here was s t r o n g im p o r te r i n t e r e s t i n i m p o r t a t i o n s o f

c a t t l e from N o rth A m e ric a, Mr M a c K e lla r s a i d . A num ber o f a p p l i c ­

a t i o n s had b een r e c e i v e d and more w ere e x p e c te d .

A p p l i c a ti o n s had a l s o b een c a l l e d f o r i m p o r t a t i o n s o f

c a t t l e from W e ste rn E urope b u t demand i n t h i s a r e a had n o t b een

g r e a t .

Mr M a cK ellar p o i n te d o u t t h a t t h e r e h a d b een c o n s i d e r ­

a b le p r e s s s p e c u l a t i o n a b o u t th e c o s t s o f a n im a l t r a n s p o r t a t i o n

from o v e r s e a s . . '

He ack n o w led g ed t h a t a i r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n c o s t s had i n ­

c r e a s e d s u b s t a n t i a l l y o v e r r e c e n t y e a r s . N e v e r t h e l e s s i n q u i r i e s

by h i s D e p artm en t h a d i n d i c a t e d t h a t some e s t i m a t e s a p p e a r in g i n

th e m edia had b een g r o s s l y e x a g g e r a te d .

'My D e p artm en t i s c o n s u l t i n g w ith p r o s p e c t i v e a g e n ts

w ith a view to e n s u r i n g t h a t t r a n s p o r t a t i o n c o s t s a r e k e p t a t a

m inim um ,♦ th e M i n i s t e r s a i d .

. . . / 2

2

Mr M a c K e lla r added t h a t b e c a u se o f d e s ig n and o t h e r .

i n n o v a t i o n s i t h a d b e en p o s s i b l e to h o ld p r o j e c t e d o p e r a t i o n a l

c o s t s o f th e s t a t i o n (a n d h e n ce q u a r a n tin e c o s t s to th e i m p o r t e r )

a t l e v e l s e s t i m a t e d i n 1973·

He s a i d t h e r e had b e en s u g g e s t i o n s i n some s e c t i o n s

o f th e m edia t h a t th e q u a r a n tin e c o n d i t i o n s w h ich had b een e s t a b ­

l i s h e d f o r i m p o r t a t i o n th r o u g h th e new s t a t i o n w ere u n r e a s o n a b ly

to u g h .

' T hese c o n d i t i o n s a r e d e v e lo p e d by my D e p artm en t i n

c lo s e c o n s u l t a t i o n w ith a l l Commonwealth and S t a t e v e t e r i n a r y

a u t h o r i t i e s , and a r e d e s ig n e d to e n s u re t h a t A u s t r a l i a h a s s a f e

a c c e s s to o v e r s e a s g e n e t i c m a t e r i a l , ’ Mr M a c K e lla r s a i d . * The

c o n d i t i o n s a r e u n d e r c o n tin u in g r e v ie w .

’P e o p le who a r e c r i t i c a l o f th e to u g h n e s s o f th e c o n ­

d i t i o n s w ould p r o b a b ly be th e f i r s t to o b j e c t to any s u g g e s t i o n

t h a t t h e r e s h o u ld be a r e d u c t i o n i n q u a r a n t in e s t a n d a r d s to f a c i l ­

i t a t e a n im a l i m p o r t a t i o n s i n t o t h i s c o u n t r y . ’

CANBERRA, 7 A p r i l 1981