Makes a number of amendments to the Brands Act. Clause 2 amends the definition of "tag” contained in section 4. The present definition defines '' tag'' to mean a piece of material impressed or marked with numerals, letters or signs. Section 31 provides that the owner of a registered paint brand or tattoo mark for sheep may mark his sheep -with earmarks and may also attach tags to the near ear of a male sheep or to the off ear of any female. Plastic tags are now widely used and are satisfactory, but do not comply with the existing definitions. Clause 2 therefore extends the definition of "tag" to provide that in addition to being of metal, a tag may be of plastic or of any other material proscribed by legislation. Clause 6 extends the regulation making power in section 68 accordingly.
Section 14 regulates the size and places distinctive numerals denoting the age of horses or cattle may be branded, whilst section 18 limits the places where distinctive numerals for stud and herd book purposes may be branded and so limits the size of those brands. A request has been made by the South Australian Division of the Blood Horse Breeders' Association of Australia that these provisions should not apply to racehorses, for which various rules differing from those laid down in section 14 and 18 are followed. The Government is of the opinion that compliance with the sections is not necessary in the case of racehorses and clauses 3and 4 therefore provide that these regulations are not to apply to the placing of brands, numerals or distinctive numerals upon any horse which is registered in any register of racehorses for the time being approved by the Minister.
Clauses 5, 6 and 7 deal with registered paint brands for sheep. Section 28 provides that a paint brand is to be made only with oil paint or with such other substance as is permitted by regulation. Oil paints have been largely superseded by a "branding fluid developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the formula for which has been patented by that body. This branding fluid is scourable and it is generally accepted that this fluid or any other fluid having similar properties should be used for paint brands and that the use of oil paint should be abandoned.
The Australian Wool Bureau has made representations that the use of branding fluids not conforming to the C.S.I.R.O. formula should be prohibited. It has also been suggested that the use of any black branding fluid should be prohibited as it could be confused with unscourable substances such as tar. In this State, sheep brands are allotted in any one of four different colours, namely, black, red, blue, and green. Black has been the first choice of most owners and approximately 55 per cent of brands have been registered in this colour. In order to provide a substitute for black, the C.S.I.R.O. was asked to consider the testing of an alternative colour to black as their range of. colours at present includes only red, blue, and green. Two alternative colours have been produced, namely, brown and yellow but, before allowing their manufacture for general distribution, the C.S.I.R.O. intends to conduct large scale field trials. In this State, samples of these colours have been supplied and will be tested on sheep at the research farms at Minipa, Turretfield, and Kybybolite. Arrangements' have been made for samples of pelt branded with the Ave C.S.I.R.O. colours to be available for inspection at the offices of inspectors of stock at Port Lincoln, Cleve, Quorn, Jamestown, Murray- Bridge, and Mount Gambier and at the Department of Agriculture in Adelaide. If the field trials of the alternative colours, yellow and brown, are successful, it is expected that brands now registered in black will be changed to yellow or brown. However, the result of these field trials will not be known for at least a year.
The following amendments relating to paint brands are therefore proposed by clauses 5, 6, and 7. Clause 5 provides that a paint brand is only to be made with a substance and to ?? that to be clone, and I recommend ?? the consideration of the Council.
Hon. B. B. WILSON secured the adjournment of the debate