Currently recognized as FMD-free, Argentina and its beef sector depend on successful vaccinations for beef profitability and trade opportunity.

FMD vaccination programs are ongoing north of the Colorado River, with Patagonia being declared as FMD-free without vaccination by the World Organization for Animal Health.



Land values in northern Australia have fallen 20 to 25 percent since the global financial crisis of 2008 and will continue to fall until valuations are in line with productivity.

Meanwhile, said Ross Copland, the Alice Springs-based director of Integrated Valuation Services, diminished live cattle export sales since 2011 have dashed perceptions of the territory’s pastoral productivity.

Australian live cattle exports have been the focus of global animal rights activists aimed at halting the sea-based trade of live cattle.


Northern properties, which pre-2011 had higher valuations because of their proximity to live cattle export destinations, are now at a perceived disadvantage to southern properties that can send cattle to southern Australia markets.

The sale early last year of the 1.24-million-acre Tanumbirini Station for a price believed to be in excess of $30 million (USD), is the only sale of any consequence since 2009.

This makes market analysts like Copland unwilling to draw any strong conclusions about pastoral property values because so little land has changed hands between willing sellers and buyers.

Copland thinks the greatest threat to northern pastoral productivity is the drying up of finance. As property values have fallen, pastoralists who drew heavily on inflated equity in the boom years now find themselves deep underwater.

Financiers have stopped lending until they can see how far the correction will go and how much impact the live cattle export crisis will have on the northern region’s long-term cattle productivity.

Copland expects values to fall until land can be valued the old way – on how much return it can bring through productivity.



The Brazilian government hopes a new labeling initiative will satisfy a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

In 2008, the government signed off on a National Humane Slaughter Agreement to improve the handling of animals for slaughter.

Since 2008, overriding Brazilian animal welfare legislation came from a joint European Union (EU) agreement that shaped policy to improve animal welfare in the country from birth to slaughter.

Treatment and conditions of animals during transportation are included in the legislation. Stress on the animal is to be reduced by resting animals for six to 24 hours before slaughter, allowing for more accurate inspection by the veterinarian.

This treatment will be certified by Brazil’s Federal Inspection Service (SIF). The SIF seal will be the stamp of approval to the consumer and guarantee that standards have been met.

The government insists that the SIF quality seal adds value to beef products due to welfare and hygiene assurance and is therefore a worthwhile investment.

But despite an array of national agreements, the Ministry of Agriculture stresses that states and municipalities have full autonomy on welfare legislation and practices carried out in the country’s 277 cattle and 126 hog slaughter facilities.

Surveys last year found 94 percent of 75,020 meat products sampled were compliant with standards laid out by the SIF. Any products that fail inspection are discarded.

united kingdom


United Kingdom
In 2012, the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) led to the slaughter of 28,284 cattle in England, a 7 percent increase compared to 2011.

The impact of the disease on the UK dairy and beef industries calls for “urgent action” to reduce the spread of TB, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

“Bovine TB continues to spread at an unacceptable rate, leading to the slaughter of thousands of cattle and ongoing misery for our farmers,” said Farming Minister David Heath. “What was once confined to a small area of the southwest has the potential to become a national crisis.”  end mark

Clint Peck is former director of Montana’s Beef Quality Assurance program.