A Queensland grazier who exports 40,000 kilograms of meat a week says animal welfare groups have the beef industry’s dehorning and castration of calves on their radars.
Zanda McDonald, of McDonald Holdings (MDH), has spoken at Beef2012 in the central Queensland city of Rockhampton.
Mr McDonald says animal welfare is one of the biggest issues the industry has to face.
However, he says if concerns about the pain felt by calves can be allayed, it will be a good marketing opportunity for northern producers.
MDH runs 170,000 head of cattle on 11 stations and is trialling a pain relief spray for dehorning.
Mr McDonald said within the next three weeks representatives from the RSPCA will visit an MDH property to see the latest trials.
“We want to be on the front foot and show them we are doing something before they come to us.”
The project involves the University of NSW.
Other issues Mr McDonald listed as challenges for the industry are rising input costs, government legislation, the carbon tax and recruiting and keeping workers. READ MORE & LISTEN TO PODCAST