ANALYSIS of 30 years of data on the export of cattle, sheep and goats from Australia has found significant improvements in performance, driven by factors such as better preparation, vessel design and on-board management.
In its 2020 research and development update released on Friday, exporter-levy funded research corporation LiveCorp reports that the industry has collected reports of mortality on shipments since 1988.
This data has now been uploaded into a modern, secure, and web-based system, allowing comprehensive analysis of long-term trends.
A detailed examination of all 2,240 long-haul voyages (10 days or more) between 1988 and 2017, funded by the Livestock Export Program (LEP), shows the impact of factors such as time of year, the vessel being used, and ports of loading and discharge, on the survival of different classes of animals.
Over the 30 year period, the average voyage mortality rate has gone from 2.5 percent to 1.5pc for sheep, 0.7pc to 0.3pc for cattle, and from above 2pc to 0.5pc for goats.
The year-to-year variability of results in the early years has also declined, with high mortality voyages now a rare and sporadic event.
The analysis indicates that higher sea surface temperatures create higher risk of mortality in both sheep and cattle.
However, time of year has a greater impact on sheep survival than it does on cattle and goats.
Now the database has been modernised, it will have a greater capacity to be remotely and regularly updated, and will enable analysis to be more easily completed into the future.
LiveCorp says there may also be opportunities to include further categories of data and link the database to other information – potentially including LIVEXCollect, a system developed by industry and now being used for regulatory reporting under the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) version 3.0.
“It’s hoped that these initiatives and the associated analysis will contribute towards achieving an evidence-based approach to supporting innovation and initiatives to improve regulatory and operational management.”
Source: LiveCorp. To read the full 16 page livestock export industry research update click here