Australia Live Export Overview

Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite editor gives an overview of the live export situation in Australia.
calendar icon 30 November 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

In Australia, the Senate has rejected calls to ban the live export trade but has set out a number of recommendations for the government to improve the welfare of Australian animals.

Footage of Australian animals being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs earlier this year caused the industry to shut down temporarily and prompted several inquiries.

The Senate committee advised the government to provide assistance for producers who suffered irrecoverable financial losses as a result of the temporary suspension of live cattle exports earlier this year.

West Australia Farmers Meat Section President, Jeff Murray, said the recommendations were a positive move for the industry after a difficult year.

The issue of banning live exports is a difficult one. There is a lot of support from the public, welfare groups and some industry members to ban live exports. However the live export industry is one of great importance to Australia.

It is worth A$600 million annually to Western Australia. Australia is the world's number one livestock exporting nation, and the government insists that it is constantly investing financially in animal welfare improvements at end markets.

However, some meat exporters believe that a ban on live exports would create jobs and economic growth in Australia as it would allow rural areas to establish processing plants and add value across the supply chain.

Back in September, Australia banned the use of Mark 1 boxes after an assessment of the cattle restraint boxes found that it did not comply with OIE regulations. Mark IV boxes will be installed in the future.

Cattle exported live to Indonesia now only go to Australian approved plants.

Is this enough?

At the very least, some believe that Australian animals exported should be at least stunned prior to slaughter.

Is this an unreasonable thing to ask? No, but it might be hard to monitor?

Charlotte Johnston, Editor

Charlotte Johnston - Editor

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