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Improving Welfare of Exported Animals

23 January 2012

AUSTRALIA - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, will travel to the Middle East this week to meet with Governments and importers regarding the implementation of a new regulatory framework that seeks to ensure Australian livestock exported for slaughter are treated at or above internationally accepted animal welfare standards.

Minister Ludwig will lead a delegation of livestock industry members and their representatives to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, all of which are significant markets for livestock exports from Australia.

“The Gillard Government is committed to securing a long-term future for Australia’s livestock export industry, as well as the jobs, families and communities that rely on it,” Minister Ludwig said.

“An important step in building that future is working with our exporters to ensure acceptable animal welfare outcomes in the trade.

“Middle Eastern markets are important for Australian livestock exports. The new supply chain assurance framework will apply to a number of these markets from the end of February.

“This official visit is an important way to communicate our reforms with foreign Government Ministers and key Middle Eastern importers, thereby assisting Australian exporters as they establish their supply chain assurance systems.”

Minister Ludwig said the responsibility lies with Australian exporters to actively pursue commercial arrangements that are in line with the new regulatory framework requirements.

In recognition of this, Minister Ludwig will be joined in the Middle East by a number of Australian exporters, as well as representatives from the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Livecorp and the Cattle Council of Australia. A State and Territory Government representative will also take part in the visit.

“The Gillard Government will continue to work with industry as the reforms are rolled out, including through the Industry-Government Implementation Group which also includes State and Territory Government representatives,” he said.

The Gillard Government has committed $5 million for exporters on a co-contribution basis who wish to upgrade their supply chains to improve animal welfare outcomes. An additional $10 million is also available to assist eligible countries improve animal welfare outcomes.

The delegation will visit Saudi Arabia from 27–29 January, Kuwait from 29–30 January, Bahrain from 30-31 January and Qatar from 31 January to 1 February.

Reforms to Australia’s livestock export trade, announced by the Government on 21 October last year in response to the independent Farmer Review, require exporters to put in place controlled and independently audited supply chains that meet internationally accepted animal welfare standards.

 

TheCattleSite News Desk



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