Norfolk Island’s artificial reproduction for livestock project commences

I am pleased to announce Norfolk Island’s artificial reproduction for ruminants project has formally commenced, providing a pathway to protect the sustainability of livestock on Norfolk Island.

The Australian Government has provided a total of $210,000 under the Community Development Grants Programme to enable the supply of the critical infrastructure required to support the artificial insemination and embryo transfer of Norfolk Island livestock.  

A funding agreement with the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to deliver the project was recently signed.

The project is in response to the concerns of the Norfolk Island community about the sustainability of the cattle, sheep and goat populations and the impact of reduced genetics on the agriculture industry on-island. The funding will provide the infrastructure to boost the genetic diversity and sustainability of local ruminant livestock, including a liquid nitrogen plant, generator, portable cattle crush and portable yard fencing. 

This project is the result of the Government, industry and community working together collaboratively to support the continued supply of beef, goat and sheep products on Norfolk Island while safeguarding the Island’s unique biodiversity. 

I thank the Administrator of Norfolk Island Eric Hutchinson and the ruminants working group for their efforts on this matter and their support for the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to deliver on this important community project.

The Government is committed to supporting the agriculture industry on Norfolk Island. My department continues to work with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on the issue of lifting the embargo on live ruminants.  Any potential reduction in restrictions would be dependent on conducting a new pest and disease survey to ascertain if ruminant diseases are already on Norfolk Island.

I am aware timing to improve ruminant genetics on Island is of critical importance to the Norfolk Island community and this infrastructure project will be progressed as quickly as possible.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2021 and yield results by late 2021.

The Community Development Grants programme invests in projects to support stable, secure and viable regional communities. 

Media Contact: 

Sophie Beeton - (02) 6277 4293