GLOBAL – Australian and Chinese veterinary bodies are formalising an agreement to commence live cattle shipments from Australia to China.
Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) arrangements, as well as commercial considerations, await confirmation from Minister Zhi Shuping, Australian agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said on Monday.
Progress on animal health certification requirements would make China the seventh new Australian market destination negotiated since September 2013.
Mr Joyce added that “significant” trade in breeder cattle, primarily dairy heifers, had taken place over the last five years.
According to Chinese sources, Mr Joyce forecast live cattle trade to China being worth up to A$2 billion in ten years’ time.
He said: “Getting the groundwork right for any new market can take time, and now the industry can prepare to begin this trade.
“This will be the seventh livestock slaughter cattle export market that I’ve opened since becoming Minister—adding to Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Cambodia and Thailand.
“Market access is a major priority for the Australian Government—we have sent a clear message - Australia is open for business.”
Operating since July 2011, ESCAS operates as an assurance standard for exporters of feeder and slaughter livestock on animal welfare, control through the supply chain and traceability, through independent audits for cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats.
ESCAS demands livestock are handled in conformity with World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations for animal welfare ‘up to and including the point of slaughter’.
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