Continued collaboration between industry, regulators and the Australian Government will be key to the success of the live export industry going forward, the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, said at the LIVEXchange 2017 conference in Perth.
Minister Hartsuyker said the industry had made progress in recent years, including improving supply chains in overseas markets, and it was important to continually develop and work together.
“Australia can be proud of its live export industry and the work it is doing to improve welfare outcomes—well beyond our shores and well beyond Australian animals,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
“Australia, through the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS), is the only one of more than 100 countries that exports live animals that requires World Organisation for Animal Health welfare standards to be met as a minimum for exported livestock.
“Since the introduction of ESCAS, the Australian livestock industry has invested in training more than 10,800 people in overseas markets in better animal handling and slaughter practices, raising the knowledge and skills of workers and introducing safer, more humane handling techniques.
“Our live export industry is an important contributor to global food security—contributing $1.6 billion to our economy and employing up to 10,000 people directly and indirectly in the industry.
“Close collaboration between industry participants, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as the regulator and government will be key to the continued success of the industry going forward.
“For its part, the government is focussed on putting common sense policies and programs in place for our live export industry to prosper.
“I want to commend our industry for its work in improving live export standards, including successes in improving animal husbandry practices in our region and proactive work to drastically reduce the number of sheep found outside supply chains during religious festivals, such as Eid.
“The challenge is now to put the industry on a firm footing for the long term and focus on better returns to the farmgate.”
Source: Australian Government