Australia's livestock export industry making changes

by Bryan Salvage
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SOUTH SYDNEY, Australia – Australia's livestock export industry intends to make animal welfare improvements in its biggest cattle export market, Indonesia. This announcement was made after an independent study commissioned by the industry's Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership with the Australian government was released.

A panel, led by Professor Emeritus in Veterinary Science at Melbourne University Ivan Caple, conducted the independent study into animal welfare conditions for cattle in Indonesia from point of arrival from Australia to slaughter. It assessed 17 Indonesian facilities to rate the effectiveness of the industry's animal-welfare programs.

The welfare of Australian cattle in Indonesia was generally good, the review found. It provided recommendations for further animal welfare improvements in Indonesia.

Industry has already implemented or has scheduled these improvements for action including:

  • Improving point of slaughter training materials and further extending animal handler competency through training programs and ongoing review and support.
  • Encouraging the adoption of stunning in the slaughter of Australian cattle.
  • Structuring journey management guidelines to ensure long-haul transport provides sufficient rest-time for livestock.
  • Delivering further feedlot management programs to expand the technical support provided to Indonesian feedlotters.

Australia’s livestock export industry is committed to making ongoing improvements in Indonesia and fully supports all of the recommendations made by the expert panel, said Cameron Hall, LiveCorp CEO.

"We're pleased the study has recognized the good animal welfare standards in Indonesia for Australian cattle," Hall added. "Many of the areas requiring further improvement are best addressed by extending or modifying programs currently being delivered by Meat & Livestock Australia and LiveCorp, with the support of the Indonesian and Australian governments.

"The industry has long recognized the importance of improving the welfare of Australian cattle in Indonesia, particularly at the point of processing, and this is reflected clearly in our action plan [hyperlink] and our annual investment of over $1 million [US$996,548] into animal welfare in Indonesia," he continued. "Indonesia is Australia's largest and most important live cattle export market and is the major market outlet for cattle producers across northern Australia. Ensuring ongoing improvements in animal welfare is critical to the long-term sustainability of the trade, and continued improvement in animal welfare in Indonesia is the livestock export industry's highest priority." 

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