Code of Practice
The Code of Practice (the Code) has been prepared by the NT Buffalo Industry Council Inc. (NTBIC), an organisation representing the interests of its members who are involved in all aspects of the buffalo livestock industry.
This Code is presented as a practical handbook to inform buffalo livestock industry stakeholders along the supply chain of their obligations under Commonwealth and Territory law and associated standards. It references industry standards set by leaders in Australian livestock industries. The Code assures buffalo buyers at each point in the supply chain that suppliers, handlers and transporters are aware of their obligations to ensure optimum outcomes in terms of animal welfare, biosecurity and fire and weed management.
Additionally, the Code forms part of the NT buffalo industry’s self-regulation process. In this context it is intended to promote public safety, industry productivity and efficiency, and encourage innovative, safe and collaborative business practices.
Although the Code is not intended for audit and compliance the knowledge provided will be of assistance for these purposes.
The Code is divided into Parts A and B.
Part A covering Legislation and Standards places the Code in the context of those Commonwealth (Section 1) and NT (Section 2) laws that have most relevance to the NT buffalo livestock industry. Included in Part A (Section 3) is also reference to the Standards established by the National Livestock Production Assurance Program.
Part B covering Responsibilities and Protocols, is divided into three sections.
The first section describes how stakeholders must mitigate risks with regards to spreading weeds. This issue of weeds is of great importance to all land managers and landowners with whom musterers and transporters must work in partnership. The objective is to build and maintain good collaborative relationships between those in the buffalo industry and the landholders and owners of the buffalo. The mechanism to maintain these good relationships is through mutually agreed weed management plans and protocols.
The second section deals with bushfire management and describes how communication and collaboration can work to the mutual benefit of musterers and landowners and managers. Fire management is a vital component of how musterers work and how landowners manage their land and earn very significant income through carbon abatement programs.
The third section forms the main part of this Code and is devoted to issues of animal welfare and biosecurity. Biosecurity management has established formalities and procedures that industry participants must familiarise themselves with. These formalities and procedures are referred to and summarised in this Code.
Animal welfare on the other hand is a more subjective issue. Each individual who works with buffalo has their own idea of what constitutes animal welfare and what animal handling practices are acceptable. This Code sets out what the various laws say about what is acceptable and what is legal. It also draws on sources who have intimate and extensive knowledge of NT buffalo to inform all along the buffalo supply chain of what is best practice with regards to buffalo welfare. It is imperative that all people who work with buffalo ensure optimum outcomes in terms of buffalo welfare.