Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts, said Winston Churchill.
Those words ring true for Ashley, Chris and Sally Kirk who have persevered and continued fighting since their highly-reputable Rockley Brahman stud was placed under quarantine after three of their stud cows tested positive to Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) on November 26, 2012.
Since that fateful day the Kirks and their Bajool-based operation have been put through the ringer emotionally and financially.
The Kirks’ entire breeding herd had to be restarted from scratch.
But despite the series of crushing blows the Kirks have been dealt, their determination and courage in the face of adversity have seen them through their darkest days with a ray of light now in sight.
The North Queensland Register’s Matt Sherrington spoke to Ashley Kirk recently in regards to how the family have persevered and how the rebuilt Rockley herd is progressing moving forward.
Matt: How badly has the quarantine affected you and your family personally?
Ashley: Personally the quarantine has had a devastating and significant impact on our family and business.
We still feel angry and frustrated, and are dumbfounded that two years on, we continue to be in quarantine.
Two years following the discovery nothing has been solved. They (Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh and the state government) are never going to eradicate Johne’s disease.
Policy has not changed, producers are still at risk, 98% of Queensland beef herds remain untested, the source of infections (ours, at Sarina, or at Hollins Bay) remain unknown, and the compensation is woefully inadequate.
In our view the government has two options: change the flawed policy and have no future compensation for producers, or retain the policy and fully compensate producers.
Matt Sherrington (North Queensland Register), Image Supplied.