Live Export

Livex video highlights animal welfare changes

Beef Central, 30/10/2014

Australia’s livestock export industry has launched its own video campaign this morning with the aim of ensuring its side of the animal welfare story is told.

Launched at the LivexChange conference in Melbourne, the 15 minute video documents how the introduction of ESCAS and associated investments in infrastructure, training and traceability systems have led to substantial improvements in animal welfare standards in recent years.

The video, produced by the joint MLA/Livecorp Live Export Program, states that the industry knows that it is judged “for the times things go wrong with animal welfare, not when they go right”.

For all its efforts to improve animal welfare, the industry continues to be undermined by footage showing mistreatment of Australian livestock in foreign markets, as most recently occurred last week when the ABC broadcast video images from Gaza.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s live export manager Peter Dundon explains in the video that leakage from supply chains remains the number one issue for the industry.

“Undoubtedly it will continue to occur,” he said.

“It is at a very low level.

“Like with all regulation people do break the rules, it is not unique to the live export industry.

“The important thing to remember is that the Australian Government, which regulates the exporter, who is responsible for those animals right through to the point of slaughter, has those systems in place to pick it up and they do deal with it.”

Mr Dundon said he had worked in 15 countries over a seven year period and had never seen any other person from any other exporting country doing anything like what Australians were doing to improve animal welfare in foreign markets.

‘Australians should be proud of what we do’

“Australians should be proud of what we do, we’re the only country doing it and we’ve made such tremendous gains over the years in welfare not just for Australian animals but also for local animals that are being handled and processed through the same facilities where we’ve achieved the welfare gains.”

Live export industry leader Dr Richard Trivett from Austrex said that while the Gillard Government’s June 2011 decision to ban all live exports to Indonesia was an “unmitigated disaster”, the evolution of ESCAS as a result of that process had been an important step forward for the industry.

“I can tell you I think we as a company and largely the industry sees ESCAS as an enormous benefit to the industry now and it ensures the continuation of the industry,” Dr Trivett said.

Before ESCAS, the industry had limited capacity to influence animal welfare improvements in market.

“We made some progress, but fell well short of what the public expected of us and what we ourselves had wanted to achieve,” the video states.

“But with ESCAS we have made huge improvements to the treatment, handling and slaughter of Australian livestock.

“Since 2011 our systems have seen millions of Austrlaian sheep cattle and goats exported into hundreds of supply chains where their welfare is assured because of the skills of thousands of people trained in good animal welfare.”


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  1. John Cooper, 31/10/2014

    What a very good production that certainly is demonstrating what the live export industry is doing to ensure humane treatment of the stock that is from Australia.

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