Brands Act Amendment Bill 1961

742  [COUNCIL.]

Second Reading

The Hon. Sir LYELL McEWIN (Chief Secretary) I move:

That this Bill be now read a second time. For some time it has been the practice of cattle-owners to attach permanent ear-tags to their cattle instead of branding them. Under the Brands Act, however, it is illegal to punch a hole in the ear of cattle for the insertion of a tag; ear-tags are permitted only in the case of sheep. The purpose of the Bill is to legalize the practice of attaching ear tags to cattle. It is considered desirable to encourage this practice because it saves unnecessary damage to hides from branding and permits easy identification of offspring of artificial insemination in the bull-proving programmes conducted by the Artificial Breeding Board.

Clause 4 accordingly inserts in the Principal Act a new section 21a which expressly permits an owner of a registered brand or stud stock brand to attach an ear-tag to his cattle. Subsection (2) of the new section limits the matters which may be specified of ear-tags to recognized brands and numerals to identify particular stock. The other sub sections provide that, in making a hole for the insertion of an ear-tag, the owner shall not interfere with an existing earmark or tattoo and that the owner will not be making an earmark that is unlawful by virtue of other provisions of the Act unless the hole is unnecessarily large.

Clauses 5, 6 and 8 are consequential amendments in order that the penal provision- of the Act relating to earmarks will not apply to an owner when inserting an ear-tag. Clause 9 permits the use of a special brand to identify cattle that have been artificially inseminated by the Artificial Breeding Board or independently (by the owners) or that are the progeny cattle that have been artificially inseminated.

The Hon. G. O’H. GILES secured the adjournment of the debate.

863 [SEPTEMBER 26, 1961.] BRANDS ACT AMENDMENT BILL.

Second Reading

The Hon. Sir LYELL McEWIN (Chief Secretary):

I move:
That this Bill be now read a second time.

The object of this Bill is to prohibit the placing or application of unscourable substances. |on the wool of sheep. The reason for the proposed prohibition is that manufacturers have complained that Australian wools have sometimes been found to contain tar, enamel paint and other unscourable substances and the special treatment necessary to get rid of those substances from wool increases the cost of manufacture considerably, and consequently adversely affects the price the primary producer can expect to receive.

In order to meet this problem section 28 of the Brands Act was amended in 1955 so as to read as follows:

A paint brand shall be made with a substance prescribed by regulation and shall be of a colour prescribed by regulation.

Pursuant to this amendment regulations were promulgated to ensure that only scourable branding fluids would be used for registered paint brands, and (as black substances could be mistaken for tar), that the colour black should not be used for any paint brand. However, this does not prevent the use of black or unscourable substances for purposes other than branding, for instance, placing unregistered marks on sheep or tar on wounds. Fortunately such acts do not occur frequently but when they do occur the whole industry in South Australia is affected and the Government feels that the only effective means of protecting the industry in this State is to prescribe a penalty for such acts.

Accordingly, clause 3 amends section 70 of the principal Act by inserting therein a new paragraph under which it will be an offence to place or apply on any sheep or on the fleece or skin of a sheep, whether for the purpose of branding or otherwise, any tar, paint or other substance that is black in colour or any substance whatsoever, other than raddle, grease crayon or a substance prescribed as a scourable substance or as one with which a paint brand may be made. The maximum penalty for the offence will be £25 or three months imprisonment. The objects of the Bill are obvious to honourable members who are interested in the wool industry. There are now alternatives to the old black brands, including tar. It is a matter of presenting our wool in the most saleable form.

The Hon. A. J. SHARD secured the adjournment of the debate.