Live Export

Live exporters celebrate record 2015, but hit out at Govt costs

Beef Central, 18/02/2016

2015 was a record period for Australia’s live cattle export industry, with official data released today showing that 1.33 million cattle were exported during the year.

That equated to a total value of $1.47 billion FOB.

Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council CEO Alison Penfold said the record was achieved despite the pressure placed on exporters by Australia’s “costly and clunky, rigid and complex” regulatory system.

“The strong export figures are further evidence of the significant contribution the livestock export industry makes to the economy, to regional jobs and to leading improvements in infrastructure, handling and slaughter practices in our markets,” Ms Penfold said.

“The strong export figures are further evidence of the significant contribution the livestock export industry makes to the economy, to regional jobs and to leading improvements in infrastructure, handling and slaughter practices in our markets,” Ms Penfold said.

“But beyond the headlines exporters face a costly and inefficient regulatory system that places Australian exporters at a significant competitive disadvantage to all of the other 100-plus livestock exporting nations.

“Australian exporters have invested heavily in the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) because animal welfare and industry sustainability go hand-in-hand, but the Australian Government must work harder and faster at addressing the regulatory cost burden, mountains of unnecessary paperwork and time-zapping, inefficient bureaucratic processes.”

Live cattle exports accounted for 13pc of the Australia’s total cattle turnoff in 2015 (a combination of animals slaughtered domestically and live exports).

While Indonesia’s intake of 619,000 head was limited by permit allocations and represented a 15 per cent year-on-year retreat, overall export numbers for South East Asia were boosted thanks to significant growth in the trade with Vietnam, which effectively doubled the number of Australian cattle it imported to reach an estimated 350,000 head.

China maintained its strong market presence in the trade of live dairy cattle in southern Australia, taking 56,120 breeders out the national total of 73,600 head which was worth $170 million.

Ms Penfold said the livestock export industry was facing significant threats to its business from global competitors such as Brazil which had significantly lower regulatory costs than Australia and that the disadvantage was being exaggerated by the high prices being paid for Australian cattle.

“The Australian Government has benefitted from the hard work of exporters to make ESCAS work.

“Now they need to step up and address the fact that Australia’s regulatory costs are a godsend for our competitors who don’t have the same commitment to animal welfare as Australia.

“Competitors like Brazil with live cattle and Indian with cheap Indian buffalo are a real threat to our cattle markets in South East Asia and not just because of their disease threat. It is time for the Australian Government to play a greater leadership role.”

Source: ALEC, MLA

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Comments

  1. Shane Irwin, 18/02/2016

    live exports coming into our southern nsw sale yards will be the end of meat processing industry. When will our unions help aussie meat companies save our jobs.

  2. Hugh, 18/02/2016

    I agree that the government is not doing a good job with ESCAS, but probably not for the same reasons that the beef industry get upset about. I think it’s ridiculous to complain that profits might come down compared to international competitors. Do we care about welfare or not? The reality of better animal welfare is that it costs money, and I don’t see why the government necessarily has to shoulder that burden. If you live in Australia then you agree to Australia’s moral standards. Our standards when it comes to animal welfare are already appalling despite being better than many other countries. When you whine about the cost of ensuring good welfare outcomes you are basically complaining that you aren’t allowed to be as cruel as other countries. Instead of complaining, develop some compassion and empathy for non-human animals.

    Full names required in future please Hugh, as per our long-standing comment rules accessible via our “About Us” page. Want to know more about our reasons for this? Read this item. Editor

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