Australia is the world's leading supplier of high quality cattle, sheep and goats to countries around the world. For many years Australia has been a valuable food source for countries that do not have the resources or geography to efficiently produce livestock to feed their populations, meeting this overseas demand by Exporting livestock for both food production and breeding, in addition to frozen and chilled meat products. In addition to providing much needed protein for global communities, the industry supports the livelihoods of thousand of Australian farming families and communities who invest heavily in improving the welfare of the livestock we overseas.

Accredited stockmen care for our sheep and cattle during their journey overseas and Australian Government accredited veterinarians provide an extra level of care on vessels travelling to the Middle East. On board, all animals have room to move around and lie down, ready access to food and water and are placed in hospital pens if they need extra care. At their destination, livestock are cared for by trained stockmen in feedlots where they have constant access to food, fresh water and shade. Australian animal welfare experts are based in the regions we export our animals to and regularly deliver animal welfare training and education programs. They also make improvements to infrastructure and livestock facilities.

The industry's activities in animal welfare are vital to ensuring our animals are well cared for, meeting the standards that Australian farmers, exporters and communities expect. Whilst our work has ensured an increased standard of care in the markets we export to, we are aware there is still more work to be done, and we are focused on continuing to improve animal welfare in these markets. This is why Australian farmers and exporters, through their industry levies, invest millions of dollars into programs such as training, education and research and development to improve animal welfare in Australia, during voyages and in overseas markets.

Australia's livestock export industry is recognised as having the highest animal welfare standards for livestock export, and we are committed to maintaining our reputation as the best in the world. The industry is also subject to strict regulatory requirements. Exporters must be licensed by the Australian Government and meet the detailed requirements of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL). The ASEL covers all aspects of preparation of livestock for the voyage, from farm through to onboard management. Livestock ships must also meet strict requirements governed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

These standards, strict regulation and the industry's commitment to caring for livestock on their voyages overseas, mean that over 99% of all Australian animals arrive fit and healthy at their destinations. The livestock export industry is vitally important to the Australian economy, and makes a significant contribution to rural and regional areas throughout Australia, especially in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

The industry contributes AUD1.8 billion each year to Australia's Gross Domestic Product; employs nearly 13,000 Australians nationally across 30 separate business types; and pays AUD987 million a year in wages and salaries. The industry supports business such as saleyards, transport operators, exporters, stevedores and shipping companies. It also benefits feedlot operators, fodder suppliers, veterinarians, livestock agents, stockmen, port authorities and helicopter mustering services.

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Any significant interruption to the livestock export trade would have a negative effect on domestic livestock markets, as cattle and sheep that were destined for export would be diverted onto domestic markets. The impact would be greatest in regions from which livestock are sourced, but would soon affect national markets.

Source by Anna Inglis


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