Animal Industries (New, Developing and Maturing)

Program Overview


New, developing and maturing animal industries play an important part in the Australian agricultural landscape. In addition to contributing to Australia’s economy, they provide alternative enterprises and, in some cases, tourism and eco-benefits. Some could grow into major industries.

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s Animal Industries (New, Developing and Maturing) Program covers around 40 animal species and includes industries that are relatively new – such as farmed rabbits and ostriches; and small industries that are more established – such as game birds and angora goats. The Program includes both levied and non-levied industries.

The objective of the Program is to conduct research, development and extension (RD&E) for new, developing and maturing animal industries that contribute to the profitability, sustainability and productivity of regional Australia. A wide range of industries fall within the program. Four of these (buffalo, deer, fibre goat and kangaroo) have statutory levies while a fifth, alpaca, makes an annual voluntary contribution to RD&E through its industry association. The remaining industries do not have a levy or voluntary contribution arrangements.

The new and developing livestock industries (including aquaculture) which were examined for development of the Animal Industries – New, Developing and Maturing Five Year RD&E Plan 2013-2018, had an estimated gross value of production of $346 million in 2011-12, and they earned export revenue of around $217 million (M Foster, 2013). In comparison, the annual value of all Australian livestock products in 2011-12 was $21.2 billion. Some of the industries have the potential for significant growth. The new and developing industries also provide alternative enterprises for some farmers and make a valuable contribution to rural communities not only from a primary production perspective but also, in some cases, through tourism and eco-benefits.

There are several industries where the largest barriers are commercial rather than technical and cannot be addressed by projects that fall within the definition of research and development. These barriers include lack of processing facilities, orderly marketing arrangements, scale or access to markets. For some industries, especially non-levied industries (dairy sheep and goat, marron, rabbit, redclaw and potentially crocodile), the problem is not lack of demand but lack of commercial supply.

The Program covers the following industries: Alpaca, Buffalo, Deer, Fibre goat, Kangaroo, Crocodile, Dairy goat and sheep, Duck, Emu, Game bird, Marron, Mulloway, Rabbit and Redclaw.

Program Aim

To conduct RD&E for new and developing animal industries that contributes to the profitability, sustainability and productivity of regional Australia.

R&D Plan

The Five-year Plan for the Animal Industries (New, Developing and Maturing) Program identifies opportunities to enhance industry performance through the conduct of RD&E. While many may require industry-specific investigation (e.g. nutrition, disease, husbandry for a particular species), there are a number of issues that present impediments or opportunities to more than one industry.

These issues could be addressed in a cross-industry manner, providing benefit to several industries and enhancing the value of RIRDC’s investment.

Download the Five-year Plan for the Animal Industries (new, Developing and Maturing) Program here

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RIRDC Projects and Results

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Completed projects

All new and developing animal industries research projects completed by RIRDC appear here. Click on a project name for more information about that project.

Completed projects
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