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TAS Country : September 9th 2010
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, September 10, 2010 News BIG DEMAND: Eleven-week-old rabbits are almost ready for the menu. Pictures: CHRIS KIDD Breeders brace for Tasmania's handful of commercial rabbits breeders are preparing for a population explosion, reports Karolin MacGregor TASMANIA is hosting the national Farmed Rabbit Indus- tries of Australia conference for the first time this month. The annual meeting and field day will be held next Friday and Saturday at the Rutherglen Hol- iday Village at Hadspen. The field day will include a line-up of guest speakers who will discuss a range of topics from rabbit producing and pro- cessing numbers through to the pros and cons of rabbit pro- duction, artificial insemination, and animal health issues. Organising the field day has been Tasmanian rabbit pro- ducers Doug Horridge and Mar- lene McGrath, from Tasmanian Fresh Farmed Rabbits. The couple started farming rabbits about 18 month ago in partnership with their neigh- bours who have High Thorpe Gourmet Rabbits and now have about 60 breeding does. Mr Horridge said the field day would be an ideal opportunity for Tasmanians who may be interested in establishing a com- mercial rabbit production bus- inesses to find out more. About 30 mainland visitors are also expected to attend the AGM and field day. Mr Horridge said in Tas- mania the number of farmed rabbits produced was still small and inconsistency of supply had been one of the main factors holding the industry back in recent years. ''When you're dealing with restaurants you need to be able to supply them with product every week, otherwise if they ring up and you say you haven't got any rabbits this week, they won't call back again,'' he said. Across the country, Mr Hor- ridge said demand for farmed rabbit was outstripping supply. Together with their neigh- bours, Mr Horridge said they were now able to turn off between 80-100 rabbits a week. Their rabbits are sold to restaurants, some butchers and HGP move gets mixed response FLOOR: Peter Greenham From Page 0 ''It definitely helps, but I don't think we get paid enough for it,'' he said. While the use of HGPs is common in northern Australia, Mr Greenham said apart from feedlots, there would be few producers in Victoria and New South Wales that used the HGP implants. ''When you're talking about grass based pro- ducers with british bred cattle in southern Aust- ralia there would hardly be any who are using HGPs,'' he said. Mr Greenham said Coles had a relatively closed loop supply sys- tem so he did not expect there would be big supply opportunities for Tasmanian producers because of the HGP de- cision. However, Mr Greenham said the de- cision may help to put a floor in the market for HPG free beef. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Associ- ation meat council chairman Brett Hall said after years of HGP free production without pre- miums prices, he did not expect Tasmanian pro- ducers to be paid more now. ''I think most people in the Tasmanian beef industry would be pretty sceptical about Coles paying a premium for HGP because they've had the opportunity to source HGP free beef from Tasmania for years and they haven't done it,'' Mr Hall said. ''They have very few Tasmanian beef sup- pliers now anyway, even though they claim that a large percentage of their beef is bought locally, I've yet to see any evi- dence of that.'' Mr Hall said what was needed was better label- ling of meat products so consumers could make the decision about whether to buy HGP free Tasmanian beef or im- ported mainland prod- ucts that may have been treated with HGPs. ''It's no use having this HGP free guarantee unless its water tight,'' he said. Waverley woollies step out in city style From Page 3 Nothing is wasted at Waverley, all the left-over yarn is used, even the blanket ends are sold. ''Cats and dogs do very well out of them,'' Ms Kirby-Fahey said. The popular blanket ends are also bought for cushion covers and applique. Waverley Mills director and owner Terence Kirby-Fahey said it was the first time a large part of the range has been a available in the market in Hobart. In the early days, Waverley was a manufacturing business that sold to retail and some commercial businesses. ''It's a global business now,'' he said. ''We sell in the US, into the UK , China, Japan and South Korea. We really understand that we had a world-class product. ''In terms of quality we are right up there with the top half dozen companies in the world.'' Farmers were ''absolutely key'' to the business, Mr Kirby-Fahey said. ''Tasmanian wool has a position superior to Australian wool and is seen independently of it, he said. '' We have confidence to brand it as Tasmanian.'' Waverley buys 250 tonnes of wool through the Tasmanian Mer- ino Company and the Roberts wool pool. ''Our future is tightly woven with what the grower does here,'' he said. ''Our ability to market through distinct channels augurs well for Tasmanian Merinos.'' The AJF provides rewards of up to $30,000 for information that leads to a successful prosecution or signi cant animal welfare outcome as judged by the AJF. ADVERTISEMENT Have you witnessed animal cruelty in your workplace? The Animal Justice Fund would like to hear from you. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TO PROVIDE INFORMATION: or call: 0457 448 419 www.AnimalJusticeFund.org
September 2nd 2010
September 16th 2010