The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-01-29T00:01:12Z Time’s up for bees 2020-01-29T00:01:12Z time-s-up-for-bees Continued and expanded access to public lands was identified in June as the number one concern across Australia by professional beekeepers and there is no more time for decision makers to delay. Peter McDonald, Chair of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) said, ‘The bee industry, like so many others, has been devastated by the fires and while I’m pretty sure that decision makers know the extent of the damage they don’t necessarily understand the implications for our almond and avocado growers - even those that have not been burned out. ‘No bees, means no pollination. ‘Where honey-bees have escaped the blazes, they will starve before Spring unless urgent action by both industry and government is taken to save them,’ said Peter. Two things need to happen, in order: 1.        Hives need sugar syrup and pollen patties. These simulate pollen and can be used in the short-term to keep bees alive. They are expensive and Government subsidies would help.  The NSW Department of Primary Industries has already provided a short-term food source of sugar supplements for bees in the affected fire areas. Even with supplements some mortality is expected because of the extended period. Pollen patties contain pollen or a substitute. It should be noted that crops such as almond and avocado will provide pollen for some bees but only for the short period of flowering, not for the rest of the year. 2.        Alternative nectar and pollen sources must be found and for this, access to National Park areas that have not been burned is vital. This is not a 12-month panacea, it will be an ongoing requirement for years to come as the natural bush regenerates. Peter said, ‘The AHBIC is seeking urgent action from the Federal Government to coordinate State Government land managers in providing immediate and ongoing access to unburned public land such as National Parks and State Conservation areas over autumn and winter. ‘This is a national problem which threatens food crop production and will also lead to shortages of Australian honey,’ said Peter. Individuals and corporations can also help struggling beekeepers, sometimes referred to as Australia’s “Forgotten Farmers”. Hive Aid is a drought and bushfire relief campaign managed by Rural Aid, one of Australia’s largest rural charities, Hive Aid contributes financial assistance and practical support to professional beekeepers impacted by the ongoing drought and bushfires and donations can be made at https://www.ruralaid.org.au/donate/?supporter_id=14254 The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) aims to ensure the long term economic viability, security and prosperity of the Australian Honey Bee industry in Australia. Coronavirus: anagram of carnivorous 2020-01-27T19:09:28Z coronavirus-anagram-of-carnivorous Dear Editor, The coronavirus is among us. Medical authorities are urgently seeking the people who travelled on the same planes as patients who have shown symptoms of the new deadly virus. The virus, an anagram of carnivorous, appears to have emerged from a fish market that was also selling wild animals such as beavers, porcupines and snakes in the city of Wuhan, in central China. The 2002-2003 SARS pandemic was similarly traced to civet cats. In these markets, urine, faeces and other bodily fluids from live, wild animals end up mixing with blood from butchered ones, providing ideal breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Overwhelmingly, human diseases start with the abuse of animals. Hunting and the appropriation of animals’ habitats has led to diseases such as Hendra and Ebola. The 2009 H1N1 epidemic started in pigs. Measles originally came from cattle, and whooping cough from dogs. The Professor of communicable disease control at the University of Queensland said of the growth of pathogens that spill-over to humans “The most significant driver of emergence is food production.” This is not a solitary event – such epidemics are becoming regular events, and diseases thought to be long vanquished are returning with the spread of superbugs, largely due to the use of massive doses of antibiotics in factory farms to promote faster growth and counter the diseases that spread in filthy conditions. Scientists have warned for years that filthy farms crammed with sick and suffering animals are breeding grounds for new, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We create these problems from the violence we impose by torturing and slaughtering gentle animals who are trying to live their own lives. As the Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer said: “as long as human beings will go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace”. Our best defence against disease is to go vegan. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Victims of bushfires 2020-01-24T00:09:31Z victims-of-bushfires The Editor, Dear Editor, Of all the animals who have suffered and continue to suffer in recent bushfires, sheep are perhaps the most ignored. Staggering numbers were killed – around 100,000 on Kangaroo Island alone. Survivors are often badly burnt. The worst get a bullet in the head. Those who can walk, even if badly burnt and in great pain, may be sent for what the industry calls "salvage slaughter" – trucked on an agonising journey to an abattoir. Bushfires occur regularly in Australia, and are becoming more severe. As the Earth warms, we need urgent reductions to emissions, and sheep are second only to cows in the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. There are over seventy million sheep in Australia, and they produce huge amounts of manure, polluting water, land and air, as well as spreading faecal bacteria. Forests are denuded for grazing, and kangaroos, already killed by the millions by the fires, are shot as they "compete" for grass. It's time to say no to the wool industry. No bushfire relief should be allowed for restocking animals who may well be victims of the next fires. And if you see a wool label in a shop, please don’t buy it. Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Strategist People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Australia) PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney, NSW, 2002. (08) 8556-5828 Designing gardens that are more fire-proof 2020-01-21T05:00:01Z designing-gardens-that-are-more-fire-proof Media Release- For Immediate Release               20 January 2020   Designing gardens that are more fire-proof Some gardens increase fire risk. Other gardens may diminish fire risk and even reduce the damage caused when a fire does occur. Knowledgeable gardeners – amateur or professional – can make better decisions about garden design and ongoing maintenance when they consider fire risk. Ill-informed people might think the best way to avoid a fire is to clear all trees and tall plants away from their house. Reality is a little more complicated though. When a building doesn’t have plants around it, it becomes more exposed to wind and heat. Embers can be carried long distances by wind in a firestorm, and buildings can ignite up to tens of kilometres from a fire front. Totally eliminating a garden does not guarantee protection from fire. Smart landscaping may not guarantee 100% fire protection, but it is probably a better solution. Ignorance of plant selection, garden design and property maintenance can often heighten fire risk in fire-prone areas. Fire can damage gardens horribly, some gardens more than others.  Some plants and landscape materials will burn far more readily. There are three important areas that need to be considered-- garden design, plant varieties used, and garden maintenance. 1. Garden Design. In some ways, plants can help in fire zones, so long as they don’t catch on fire themselves. Plants keep an area significantly cooler, and filter pollutants including smoke from fires. Placement of plants can change the way air moves through and over a property. Clear access routes need to be designed into a garden. A wide track with stone walls on either side will give better access than a narrow track with overhanging, highly flammable trees. When choosing landscape materials, favour materials that are less likely to fuel a fire or be damaged by a fire.  Wood decking will burn, but masonry paving won’t. Some mulches burn more readily than others. Some soils hold more moisture than others. Water features may offset flammability. Extra water storage may enable better firefighting. Irrigation systems can be used to wet a garden when fire approaches. 2. Plant Selection Some plants are less likely to burn or may not burn as fast. These include plants with watery foliage like cacti, ones with a high salt-content (e.g. Tamarix), ones with dense, insulating bark and ones with dense crowns. Plants that burn more readily include ones with volatile oils in their foliage such as eucalypts, and those with fibrous loose bark, dry foliage, or resinous foliage like conifers. Some plants can recover better from fires than others. Knowing how well a plant can recover is an important consideration when choosing plants to grow in fire prone areas. A very high level of plant knowledge is critical to better fire management through better selection of plants for gardens, farms and landscapes. Sadly, there has been a decline in teaching this aspect of horticulture over recent decades in many countries. 3. Garden Maintenance It is paramount to keep burnable material cleared from gardens as much as possible during fire seasons. Remove low hanging branches and flaky bark that might ignite trees. Keep trees and shrubs watered, if possible, over summer with drip systems located on the windward side of the garden. This keeps water levels higher in plants and makes them harder to ignite. Dig in any dry mulches or leaf litter that might ignite. Flammable mulches such as lucerne hay are better used after a fire season. They can then settle and largely decompose before the next fire season. This can improve a soils capacity to hold water; and plants therefore may have higher water content if faced with fire. After a fire, act to help a garden revive as soon as possible. Adding biostimulants, mulching, watering and pruning can help damaged plants revive.  Sometimes though, a burnt soil can develop water resistance. If this occurs, digging the soil surface and/or using a soil wetter may be needed.   Written by John Mason, Principal, ACS Distance Education, www.acs.edu.au https://www.acs.edu.au/info/horticulture/gardens/designing-a-more-fire-proof-garden.aspx For any comments, please contact our Marketing & Public Relations Department admin@acs.edu.au or telephone 07 5562 1088. Livestock trace mineral challenge – Entries closing soon! 2020-01-20T22:26:07Z livestock-trace-mineral-challenge-entries-closing-soon There are less than 10 days left to enter Virbac Australia’s $34,000 Multimin Performance Ready Challenge. Widespread rain and storms providing useful falls across QLD, NSW and Victoria over the past week has re-built graziers’ confidence to improve the condition of their drought-affected stock and one leading animal health company want to assist producers to do this. If your goals are to improve the health and productivity of your livestock, then this is the perfect opportunity. With less than 10 days to go, beef, sheep and dairy producers are being encouraged to get their entry in for Virbac Australia’s Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, focused on the effective use of trace mineral injections for cattle and sheep. As part of the Challenge, up to seventy-five producers will receive discounted Multimin product in exchange for sharing their experiences and results from following a Multimin program, and one lucky competing individual or team will win an overseas study tour and free Multimin product. With the total prize pool valued at more than $34,000, the prize will offer professional development tailored to the winner and their enterprise. “Current entries across all states indicate that round one of the Multimin Challenge will be full of healthy competition among cattle and sheep producers,” said Dr Jerry Liu, Nutritionist and Livestock Nutrition Marketing Manager at Virbac Australia. Last year’s Multimin Challenge saw Renee Murfett, dairy producer from Framlingham, Victoria take out first prize. “With the guidance of Multimin Challenge experts, we ran a trial on our calves to see what effect Multimin may have on their general health and disease rates. The trial confirmed the critical roles that trace minerals play in immunity and animal health, and we certainly saw improvements in our calves within the first 12 weeks of treatment. Optimisation of trace minerals at high demand time points provided us with improved animal health and productivity,” Renee said. Virbac Australia have brought together some of Australia’s best vets and livestock nutrition experts to work with the challengers. The panel of experts will use their experience to guide and judge the challengers as well as share their knowledge and advice with Multimin Challenge followers. “All in all, the competition is perfect for any livestock producer wanting to work with some of Australia’s most experienced livestock nutritionist experts. They will have the opportunity to improve conception rates and immune function, as well as see tighter calving intervals, reduced disease, and better general health in 2020. And in some situations, I've seen weight gain benefits in prime lamb and beef cattle,” said Multimin Challenge expert Dr Graham Lean, Principal Consultant at Agrivet Business Consulting. Round one entries are closing soon on Friday 31st January for those producers wanting to compete in March to June. Now is the time to nominate a mate or enter yourself at multiminchallenge.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: 1. 2019 Multimin Challenge Winner, Renee Murfett, Victoria 2. Dr Graham Lean, Principal Consultant at Agrivet Business Consulting RURAL AID LAUNCHES $25M DISASTER RECOVERY APPEAL TO ASSIST FARMERS 2020-01-14T06:23:45Z rural-aid-launches-25m-disaster-recovery-appeal-to-assist-farmers Today, Rural Aid launched a $25 million Disaster Recovery Appeal to assist over 10,000 farmers and over 10 million of their farm animals in fire affected zones. Rural Aid Co-Founder, Charles Alder said Rural Aid has started hay deliveries in north east Victoria and southern NSW and is asking Australians to assist our farmers who have experienced unprecedented hardship from drought and now catastrophic fires. “Over the past 18 months, Rural Aid has distributed $45 million in assistance to farmers and their communities, and we will continue to leverage its proven delivery model for drought and now fire affected farmers,” Charles Alder said. “In addition, Rural Aid has committed over $10 million to drought affected farmers, including the proceeds of the recent Hay Mate concert. Over the past weeks, Australians have come out in support and generously given to assist fire affected southern NSW and eastern Victoria. However, once the smoke clears and the ‘Firies’ drive away, Rural Aid arrives to step in and help farmers transition from emergency response to a period of recovery. “The $25 million Disaster Recovery Appeal will help Rural Aid expand its support offerings to farmers in affected fire zones,” Charles Alder said. “Rural Aid will also assist with domestic water deliveries, financial assistance (Visa Country Cards) and access to counselling. Many farmers spend their Visa Country Cards in their communities, supporting local economies. “With around 10,000 Aussie farmers affected by fires, our target from the $25 million Disaster Recovery Appeal is for each farmer to receive $2500 in assistance from Rural Aid. To help us to continue to deliver this much needed aid to our farmers, support Rural Aid’s ‘Buy a Bale’ program by donating at www.buyabale.com.au/donate.  Visit: www.ruralaid.org.au/snapshots  for updates on Rural Aid's assistance statistics.  About Rural Aid Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities. Follow Rural Aid for updates on: FB: @ruralaidaustralia | @buyabaleofhay IG: @buyabale | @ruralaid IN: Rural Aid Ltd TW: @ruralaidaust | @buyabale *Data referenced from NSW Department of Primary Industries and Agriculture Victoria. ENDS Media enquiries: Raylee Huggett – 0447 116 757 Media spokespeople: Rural Aid Co-Founder, Charles Alder – 0410 714 379 Rural Aid Interim CEO, Sarah Hunter – 0421 943 683 Rural Aid National Business Development Manager, Wayne Thomson – 0476 647 281 Quick Stats: ·         In 2018 – 2019, Rural Aid delivered $31.6 million in assistance to farmers and their rural communities. ·         From July to December 2019, Rural aid delivered $14 million in assistance to farmers and their rural communities. ·         Over November and December 2019, more than 2000 farmers registered with Rural Aid. ·         Rural Aid has over 12,000 farmers registered for assistance. ·         In the recent Christmas and New Year period, Rural Aid delivered over 12,000 gift cards to farmers. ·         Between July and December 2019, Rural Aid delivered 372 truck loads of hay and 2094 water deliveries to farmers. Shot for being thirsty 2020-01-09T12:03:47Z shot-for-being-thirsty The Editor Dear Editor, People are deeply upset about what's going on in Australia: kangaroos trapped in barbed-wire fencing while attempting to flee the fires, cows and sheep being cooked alive in the flames, and an estimated one and a quarter million or more animals now killed in the conflagrations. Now, we add shooters being ordered to gun down thousands of camels desperately searching for water. There is something that can be done – a long-term fix for this horror and the others that will inevitably follow, as prolonged heat and drought have extended seasonal wildfire periods around the world and we're facing mass extinctions, rising sea levels, and record-breaking temperature changes. It's imperative that we take personal responsibility for the protection of our planet, and by far the easiest way to do that is to stop eating animals and go vegan right now. The UN has stated that meat consumption must decrease by as much as 90% in order for us to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. This requires zero governmental initiative and no promises from giant corporations – it just means choosing to leave animals out of our shopping trolleys. It's a simple but revolutionary action that says, "We will not let this planet and countless sensitive animals die on our watch." We urge all caring people to join the vegan movement. The Earth and all its human and non-human inhabitants depend on it. Ingrid Newkirk Founder PETA Australia PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney NSW 2002 (08) 8556-5828 2020 vision through the smoke 2020-01-06T11:24:47Z 2020-vision-through-the-smoke The Editor Dear Editor, 2020 is not just a year; it’s an expression, meaning clear or accurate vision. But our vision of the first few days of the year has been of bushfires turning day into night, and cattle, sheep and native animals dying by the hundreds of thousands. Our vision is impeded by our watery eyes – tears of grief, or seeping discharges caused by toxic smoke. But crying doesn’t help. We know that climate change is making droughts and conflagrations far more catastrophic. Bureau of Meteorology stats show that 2019 was our hottest, driest year on record, and 2020 is not likely to be any better. We donate to victims; we lobby for renewable energies and cleaner transport. But daily, most Australians contribute their money to the industries that cause a significant portion of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions: meat, dairy and eggs. Cattle and sheep emit large amounts of methane, while forests are razed for grazing or to grow grains that are fed to factory farmed chickens and pigs. All these animals suffer tortuous treatments like castration, mulesing, debeaking and dehorning before their agonising deaths. It’s not only destructive, but also wasteful - more than 80% of farmland is used for animal agriculture, which produces just 18% of our food calories. Eliminating meat and dairy and eating plant-based diets instead would free up land for reforestation. Researchers say that is the best way to store large amounts of carbon. Let’s use our 2020 vision, and head for the vegan food aisle. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au 2020 Vision 2019-12-28T05:58:06Z 2020-vision The Editor Dear Editor, Here’s a terrific New Year resolution: let's stop wasting food! The latest analysis from Rabobank shows that Australians now spend over ten billion dollars on food that ends up in their garbage bins. We have the shameful distinction of being the fourth highest wasters of food in the world. Besides burning an average of $1,026 from the average household’s budget, food in landfill decomposes anaerobically producing methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Additionally, the CSIRO have estimated that cattle alone are responsible for 48% of enteric methane emissions and 6% of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. The impact on animals is far worse. Land clearing is putting 28,000 animal species at risk of extinction within the next 25 years. That land is cleared to provide grazing or grains for hundreds of millions of cows, sheep, pigs and chickens who live in appalling conditions, packed into sheds or branded or castrated without pain relief, before being crammed into trucks for the long ride to a terrifying and often agonising death. Arable land could be used far more efficiently to grow plant-based food for humans, and to regenerate forests, which act as natural carbon sinks. Studies have shown that a meat-based diet requires far more energy, land, and water than a vegan one. Have a look at how much food was thrown out over the holiday season, and let’s decide to reduce our wasteful footprint by moving to efficient, cruelty-free vegan fare. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Carriage driver kicked a downed horse 2019-12-17T01:27:18Z carriage-driver-kicked-a-downed-horse Dear Editor, The widely reposted social media video of a fallen horse in the middle of a busy Melbourne road provides yet more damning evidence that a modern city is no place for horses. And that the use of animals for entertainment is out of step with twenty-first century social values. The horse collapsed on one of Melbourne’s busiest roads. Video from a bystander shows a veterinary nurse trying to stop the driver from kicking the fallen animal, who was unable to get up. The driver uses obscene language, and tells the nurse to “get out of the way” as she pleads with him to stop kicking the horse. Horse-drawn carriages are dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians as well as appallingly cruel to these gentle animals. The time has come for the government to ban these carriages for good. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Save our soils: snapshot reveals top threats 2019-12-04T03:39:09Z save-our-soils-snapshot-reveals-top-threats Soil Science AustraliaMEDIA RELEASE Embargoed to 12.01AM (ACDT) 5 December 2019 Save our soils: snapshot reveals top threats The top threats facing Australian soils—erosion, contamination, urban encroachment, salinity and climate change—must be addressed or prevented through a nationally co-ordinated approach before irreversible damage is done according to the national peak body for soils. The inaugural Save our Soils: Australian Soil Snapshot 2020 commissioned by Soil Science Australia, released today on World Soil Day, suggests protection of Australia’s most valuable natural asset, now worth $1 trillion per year, will demand co-ordinated education, data-sharing, research, policy and on-farm application to achieve sustainable land management on a national scale. “Soil is the living skin of the earth, supporting our food production, economy and health, yet our valuable soils are under increasing attack,” said Associate Professor Mosley, President, Soil Science Australia.   “Erosion from wind and water is the most obvious risk to soil.  Everyone understands dust storms, but these can rip a trailer load of fertile topsoil per hour per hectare from an average farm which is terrifying. “What does that mean for future harvests? What does it mean for that farming family?  With 10% loss of crop yield forecast by 2050 our ability to sustain livelihoods and our food and fibre production is threatened,” he said. Furthermore, with only around 10% of Australia suitable for crops or improved pasture, the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events are decreasing that parcel every year.   “Longer and harsher droughts are sucking the life out of soils and battering too many regional communities as well,” said Associate Professor Mosley. “Our farmers are looking for new answers but there is still a disconnect with the soil science.” The fallout from poor soil management can be felt for generations yet sustainable agricultural practices can dramatically reduce soil damage and improve productivity. The report highlighted other soil issues like urban encroachment onto valuable agricultural land, acidification, salinisation and contamination as common threats that are increasing across Australia. “On one level, we understand how to fix these problems, but this will require investment and everyone working together on this urgent national priority,” said Associate Professor Mosley. “We need to strike the right balance between growth and land care, and we must reframe our approach to soil management through an integrated strategy that brings soil scientists, researchers, policymakers and farmers together.” Associate Professor Mosley said despite the challenges most landowners wanted to improve their soils. “Information and education is everything.  Australia has some of the oldest, poorest soils on earth, but we also have some of the most innovative and resilient farmers and communities who really care about their land. We can sustain our economy, environment and feed the planet if we save our soils. “We need soil security in Australia, it’s not just about water.  A world without soils would be a world without life,” he said. “It all begins and ends beneath our feet.”  Quotes from Dr Michael Crawford Chief Executive Officer Soil CRC “Soil research is the key to finding solutions to our underperforming soils in agriculture. The Soil CRC provides the opportunity for effective collaboration between industry and science as well as a pathway to adoption of new soil management technologies by farmers. “Through its soil research and innovation program, the Soil CRC is developing new solutions that will unlock the potential of Australia’s agricultural sector. “Australian agriculture is facing increasing challenges of longer, more frequent droughts and a hotter, drier climate. Good soil management is one way to help address these challenges.” “Climate change and drought are reinforcing the value of soil stewardship. Better soil management can help farms become more resilient in drought by improving water-retention capacity. It can also reduce soil erosion, fertiliser usage and chemical run-offs from farms into the environment. Better soil stores more carbon dioxide, in turn mitigating the effects of climate change and global warming.” “By bridging a gap between soil scientists and farmers, we will ensure that soil performance is increased not just in the short term, but in the long term.” Soil Science Australia is the national peak body for soils, soil science and soil scientists. MEDIA/INTERVIEWS with Soil Science Australia Federal President Luke Mosley ph 0428 103 563 or contact the Soil Science Australia Office 0476 450 321 or office@soilscienceaustralia.org.au Download the Save or Soils Australian Soil Snapshot 2020 infographic Rodeo 4 Life Arena Spectacular Thrills for Charity with Troy Wilkinson Named 2019 Rodeo 4 Life Champion in Australia’s Richest Bull Ride 2019-12-04T00:07:31Z rodeo-4-life-arena-spectacular-thrills-for-charity-with-troy-wilkinson-named-2019-rodeo-4-life-champion-in-australias-richest-bull-ride MEDIA RELEASE: 4 DECEMBER 2019 Rodeo 4 Life Arena Spectacular Thrills for Charity with Troy Wilkinson Named 2019 Rodeo 4 Life Champion in Australia’s Richest Bull RideWhen Rodeo 4 Life the arena spectacular exploded at WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong on Saturday night, this ground-breaking first in extreme entertainment that combined Australia’s richest bull ride rodeo with a full length country music concert did not fail to impress. A packed house of country music fans, rodeo and extreme sports enthusiasts were thrilled when Rodeo 4 Life’s Grand Entry opened to Queens’ We Are The Champions with a star-studded line-up of 25 elite Australian bull riding champions, Rodeo Queen of Australia, Bonnie McLean, country singer Victoria McGee and host John Jarratt, amid a spectacular light show that set the tone of what was to come.Every bull riding champion lives for this extreme sport, its high energy and unpredictability with success dependent on the bull they draw and what happens on the night, Rodeo 4 Life was no exception with the energy fast and furious.Round 1 of the bull riding competition had the audience on the edge of their seats when the thrill-seeking cowboys burst from the chutes drawing on their experience and sharpened skills to stay mounted on John “Happy” Gill and Sons and Matt Besant’s mightiest bulls as they exploded from the chutes to a roaring crowd with Australia’s legends of rodeo, Glen Morgan and Tyler Pendagast calling the shots. Rodeo Clown Big Al Wilson kept the mood upbeat and the audience laughing while Rodeo Protection clowns Gene McDonald and Rodney-Ray (Rude) Mancell risked life and limb to protect the fallen cowboys from possible disaster.When it came to the concert; the power and spectacle didn’t let up when Travis Collins and his band rocked the crowd performing some of his greatest hits for over an hour while the audience cheered and lit up WIN Entertainment Centre with phone torches to much loved music and songs. Then came Round 2 of the rodeo and the competition for the grand prize was fierce as the bull riders challenged themselves against the bulls in the ride of their lives to help save the lives of others in need of organ transplants.With scores close, Troy Wilkinson, 29, from Upper Horton and Marrickville who is ranked 114th in the world, won the inaugural 2019 Rodeo 4 Life Championship title with a combined total score of 169 riding Vertical Exit and Earthbound adding to his string of credits including the highest individual bull riding score in Australia with a record of 93 and the titles of 2015 APRA Bull Riding Champion, 2017 PBR Australia Champion and 2017 PBR World Finals Qualifier.Commenting on his win, Wilkinson said, “The riders always give it their best. We go into every rodeo competing not with each other, but competing with the bulls hoping that all elements come together to achieve the highest score.” “With Rodeo 4 Life, I got lucky. This event has taken rodeo bull riding to an incredible new level,” said Wilkinson. “Holding Australia’s richest bull ride rodeo in an indoor arena, located right on the beach, and combining it with a light show and a full-length concert starring one of Australia’s best country music singers, Travis Collins made it an exhilarating experience for riders and the audience. “The house was pumped, the atmosphere incredible, and because it was for charity, it was even more special,” he said. Cowboy Toby Collins, 27, from Maldon VIC was the only other rider to successfully score in both rounds and earned a combined score of 160 riding White Ice and Vertical Exit and walked away with $7,500 while Cliff Richardson, 28, from Gresford NSW, earned the highest individual ride score of 92 on superstar bull High Flying Akubra.The evening of extreme sport was not without its thrills and spills when Jono Couling, 26, from Singleton, was thrown in Round Two having a dramatic run in with B.F.G. which left audiences shocked. Couling said, “It’s a dangerous sport and that sort of thing is part and parcel of being a bull rider. It happens from time to time. I don’t feel too bad, there’s nothing majorly wrong with me just a cracked shoulder blade and some scrapes. I’ve had worse injuries and I’m looking forward to my next rodeo at Christmas.”Producer Doug Vickers OAM was delighted with the outcomes saying, “Rodeo 4 Life had 4 primary objectives; to raise wide-spread awareness of the life-saving work of the RPA Transplant Institute and funds to support their vital research; to increase awareness of the importance of organ donation; and, to create an arena spectacular that would thrill and entertain our audience.” “Through combining a full-length country music concert with the extreme sport of rodeo bull riding, Rodeo 4 Life achieved all of this and so much more,” he said. “Travis Collins gave an incredible performance and every one of our bull riding champions rode their hearts out to give the audience a show they’ll never forget while helping give others a chance at life,” said Mr Vickers. “Congratulations to all, especially Troy Wilkinson who took out the grand prize and the 2019 Rodeo 4 Life title. Together we achieved what we set out to do including generating widespread awareness of organ transplantation and more than $100,000 for the RPA Transplant Institute as a result of Rodeo 4 Life. With exciting plans are now underway to make next year’s Rodeo 4 Life bigger and better, in 2020 we’ll give the audience an even more spectacular show,” Mr Vickers said. Thanks to the funds raised from Rodeo 4 Life, the RPATI will be able to continue with the development of a world first organ perfusion system that will be able to extend organ viability from the current length of just a few hours to become viable for several days. This will allow more organs to be made available for transplant and a greater number of Australian lives to be saved.-ENDS- RODEO 4 LIFE LINKSRodeo 4 Life Website: https://rodeo4life.com.au/Rodeo 4 Life Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rodeo4lifeau/Organ Donor Register: https://donatelife.gov.au/ RODEO 4 LIFE MEDIA CENTRE – DOWNLOADSPhotographs of Rodeo 4 Life the arena spectacular can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/RFL-Media or rodeo4life.com.au/media - PHOTO CREDIT: FRENCH’S PHOTOGRAPHY RODEO BULL RIDING RESULTSCOverall WinnerTroy Wilkinson: - Riding Vertical Exit & Earthbound- Score 169- Prize: $9,500 (total: Round 1 + $2k) Round One1. Troy Wilkinson on Vertical Exit scored 89 - Prize $7,5002. Toby Collins on White Ice scored 78 - Prize $4,5003. Jack McArthur on Reverend Black scored 73 - Prize $3,000 Round Two1. Cliff Richardson on High Flying Akubra scored 92 - Prize $6,0002. Bryden Atkins on Turbulence scored 89 - Prize $4,5003. Toby Collins on Vertical Exit scored 82 - Prize $3,0004. Ty Thompson on Bloodline scored 81 - Prize $1,5005. Troy Wilkinson on Earthbound scored 80 Rage against the maps 2019-12-03T02:29:40Z rage-against-the-maps The Editor Dear Editor, The Victorian government has released a new map aimed at making it as easy as possible for hunters to identify where it's fine for them to slaughter and maim animals going about their business. Contrast this with the manufactured rage of our politicians over the existence of Aussie Farms' Farm Transparency Map, a resource that does nothing more than compile publicly available information. The Aussie Farms map indicates where farms are located in an effort, as the site says, "to force transparency on an industry dependent on secrecy". Each year in Australia, hundreds of millions of animals are confined, tormented, and slaughtered out of public view – behind high walls or in massive compounds. Tens of thousands of chickens are kept inside sheds in an atmosphere so toxic that humans entering the premises report having trouble breathing, sows are confined to stalls barely large enough for them to take a single step forward or backwards, and sheep are punched and cut with clippers by shearers paid to work quickly, not carefully. Any attempt to expose the egregious abuses occurring in these places is met with hand-wringing and rage as well as threats of criminal penalties. Yet a licence and a mobile phone are all that are required for anyone who wants to satiate their bloodlust by taking an expedition into a state forest. A common theme binds both scenarios: whether it's disingenuous angst over a map listing businesses or obsequious facilitation of barbaric slaughter, animals always lose out. Let's allow room in the conversation for consideration of their right to live. Sincerely, Paula Hough Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Asia-Pacific PETA Australia PO Box 20308, World Square, Sydney NSW 2002 PHough@peta.org.au Australia’s number one trace mineral competition is back to assist farmers in improving animal growth and fertility. 2019-12-01T19:30:00Z australias-number-one-trace-mineral-competition-is-back-to-assist-farmers-in-improving-animal-growth-and-fertility It has certainly been a challenging year for most livestock producers across the country. The on-going impact of poor to desperate seasons across Australia has focused many cattle and sheep producers on the nutritional challenges and one leading animal health company is determined to assist. Virbac Australia are now inviting sheep, beef and dairy producers to enter the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, a 12-month program focused on the effective use of trace mineral injections for cattle and sheep. As part of the Challenge up to seventy-five producers will receive discounted Multimin product in exchange for sharing their experiences and results with using Multimin and one lucky competing individual or team will win the ultimate prize of an overseas study tour. Valued at more than $21,000, the prize will offer professional development tailored to the winner and their enterprise. “Last year’s challenge received an incredible amount of support and engagement from the public and livestock experts all over Australia. Challengers saw better conception rates, tighter calving intervals, improved immune function, reduced disease, and better general health,” said Dr Jerry Liu, Nutritionist and Livestock Nutrition Marketing Manager, Virbac Australia. For previous Multimin Challenge winner Renee Murfett, the Multimin Challenge was a great opportunity to see the significant impact of trace mineral supplementation on her dairy calves immunity and health. As part of her prize, Virbac Australia is sending Renee to the World Ag Expo in the USA in February where she will learn more about best-practice dairy farming. “We want to work with sheep, beef and dairy producers from across Australia to see how they too can improve fertility, animal health and ultimately herd performance with the use of Multimin and encourage all to enter,” says Dr Liu. “We know that during high demand periods such as joining, weaning and birthing, animals have elevated requirements for trace minerals. And consequently, with less feed available than normal in many areas of Australia, stock are not receiving many nutrients, including trace minerals.” “Large parts of the country are certainly struggling and keeping a positive mentality can be difficult for producers during these unfavorable times. The industry data we are seeing is indicative of this with producers purchasing less drenches and vaccines which is one sign that stock numbers have declined. There are far fewer animals to treat this year versus last year the last few weeks of bushfires doesn’t help. “Our national interest is to re-build Australia’s livestock numbers and improving the immunity and fertility in our animals will be a major contributor to this. During these tough times, improved health and productivity is going to pay off and we want to assist producers as much as we can to do this,” Dr Liu said. Angus producer Nick Boshammer from NBGenetics in Chinchilla, QLD has recently had a positive result with Multimin and looks forward to entering the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge to further advance his herd and gain access to industry experts. “I used Multimin pre-joining in October this year and saw a 100% response rate in my fixed time AI program. I want to get as many AI pregnancies as I can which means getting stock in calf as early as possible. It’s about increasing my animals’ trace minerals levels during this high demand period to give them every opportunity to cycle early on. “We need all the help we can get in these tough conditions, so I’ll be entering the Multimin Challenge this year and encouraging my friends to enter as well. I think there is a big opportunity for Multimin to be used in early weaned calves. I will Multimin every one of my weaned calves this month to give them a rapid top-up of essential minerals for future performance and fertility,” Mr Boshammer said. As part of the program, producers will have the support and expertise of some of Australia’s most experienced animal experts to hone their operations. Experts include: Dr Paula Gonzalez-Rivas, Technical Services Manager for Nutrition at Virbac Australia Dr Matthew Ball, Veterinarian and Senior Technical Services Manager - Cattle at Virbac Australia and owner of Beacon Veterinary Dr George Cox, Technical Services Manager - Sheep at Virbac Australia Dr Colin Trengove, Veterinarian and Managing Director, Pro-Ag Consulting Dr Enoch Bergman, Owner Veterinarian, Swans Veterinary Services Dr Graham Lean, Principal Consultant at Agrivet Business Consulting As well as the overseas trip, the overall winner will also take home a 12-month supply of Multimin. The second and third runners-up will receive a six month supply of Multimin. Entries for the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge are open from 1 December 2019 with only seventy-five challengers selected. To find out more and to enter, visit www.multiminchallenge.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Nick Boshammer from NBGenetics Dr Enoch Bergman, member of the Multimin Challenge expert panel Target Sheep event tours New South Wales & Victoria offering key insights in the fight against worms. 2019-11-29T05:44:04Z target-sheep-event-tours-new-south-wales-victoria-offering-key-insights-in-the-fight-against-worms With summer drenching season upon us, leading animal health company Virbac Australia has just completed a roadshow throughout regional New South Wales and Victoria, educating producers on parasite management, with a special focus on the importance of an effective summer drenching program and current drench resistance levels in the Yass, Boorowa, Euroa, Ballarat and Hamilton regions. Virbac’s Target Sheep initiative is aimed at optimising the health and performance of livestock at three key stages of the production cycle; pre-joining, pre-lambing and marking/weaning. The roadshow focused on how to increase productivity by managing worm resistance with an effective drench program. The Target Sheep events bring together industry experts, veterinarians and producers to improve on-farm productivity and profitability through leading animal health management practices and industry benchmarks. Key speakers at this weeks events included Veterinary Parasitology Consultant, Dr Tim Elliott and Virbac Australia Area Sales Manager’s, Emily Fowler, Matthew Grylls and Rod Evans. Tim’s presentation educated producers about worm biology and their life cycle, with tips on pasture management and drench strategies to reduce the risk of internal parasites specific to the region. “A summer drench at this time of year needs to be a very effective drench to ensure a successful reduction in worm burden,” said Tim. “Weaned lambs are highly susceptible to worms, but effective drenching helps to increase weaner growth rates. For all these reasons, this first summer drench is of vital importance, so farmers can remove the worm burden in individual livestock, reduce pasture contamination from worms and allow for healthier weaners over summer.” During the Yass event, Emily Fowler encouraged attendees to join Virbac’s Target Sheep program which allows producers to formulate sheep managing strategies specific to their region. “With resistance to treatment becoming an increasing problem, the summer drench farmers choose can make a huge difference in the success of any worm control program. For these reasons, farmers must choose a potent and persistent solution that protects stock against infection and boosts sheep wellbeing and productivity, for healthier, more profitable farms. The Target Sheep program is a practical forum with open discussions and engagement from independent experts. The group aims to tackle relative important issues throughout the sheep production cycle.” Around 20 local sheep producers attended the Boorowa event, and Brad Smith from Neringah Farm described his local event as a very informative day. “I find it concerning that there will be no new drench actives being released in the near future and therefore appreciated Dr Tim Elliot's emphasis on the importance of drench selection and conducting regular worm egg counts.” With summer storms becoming a common occurrence in the Boorowa region, Emily Fowler explained now is not the time to be complacent in worm management programs. “Summer storm events are breeding pools for barbers pole worm and liver fluke. We encouraged all attendees to continue monitoring their sheep and carry out regular worm egg tests as well as be aware of the resistance levels on their farm as no two farms are the same. Hopefully this has been a useful discussion for our local producers, and it’s given them some useful information to now go out and act on.” Virbac will be hosting further Target Sheep events throughout Australia in the coming months. For more information, visit https://au.virbac.com, follow Virbac Australia on Facebook or Instagram or call 1800 242 100. Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo caption: Target Sheep Boorowa Event Target Sheep Yass Event