Gillard Government Reforms Live Export Trade

AUSTRALIA - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, has outlined the future of regulation in Australia's live export industry as part of the Government's response to the Farmer review.
calendar icon 25 October 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The Minister was joined by Mr Bill Farmer AO and Mr Jock Laurie of the National Farmers' Federation to release the Independent Review of Australia’s Livestock Export Trade (the Farmer Review) along with the Government's response.

Minister Ludwig said the Government had accepted all recommendations made by the review and reports from the Cattle and Sheep Industry-Government Working Groups.

He said reforms will be implemented to supply chains on both a domestic and international level to ensure Australian livestock exported for slaughter are treated at or above internationally accepted animal welfare standards.

“The Government is committed to the live export industry and these reforms will provide stability for the industry and thousands of regional jobs,” Minister Ludwig said.

The reports recommended adapting and implementing a supply chain assurance framework to all markets for the export of Australian livestock, as well as addressing a number of domestic welfare issues.

The Australian Government has worked closely with the livestock industry and State and Territory governments to develop the new regulatory framework. We have engaged extensively with our trading partners during the development of the reforms and will continue to work with them.

“The new framework will be phased in and will be implemented in stages with 75 per cent of trade covered by February and for all trade by the end of 2012.”

Under the framework, Australian exporters will need to ensure:

  • animals will be handled and processed at or better than the internationally accepted standards for animal welfare established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE);
  • they have control of the movement of animals within their supply chain;
  • they can trace or account for animals through the supply chain;
  • and they conduct independent verification and performance audits of their supply chains against these new requirements.

“The reforms give certainty to the community who made it clear they want better welfare standards, and certainty to industry and livestock producers who want an industry with a long term future,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Importantly, if animal welfare issues do arise in overseas markets in the future, the Australian Government will have the ability to address these issues without closing entire markets. This is important for delivering global food security.”

The Government will also further its commitment to increasing the use of stunning in live export markets by:

  • Raising the inclusion of stunning in the OIE guidelines through the formal OIE process;
  • Promoting the use of stunning including through work instructions and improved processes and stunning training through regional OIE forums; Pursuing, where possible, bilateral agreements which include stunning with our trading partners;
  • Supporting industry efforts to develop and implement voluntary codes of conduct that raise standards above OIE and which include stunning;
  • Funding animal welfare improvements in importing countries with support from Australian industry.

To view the Farmer Review, the Industry Government Working Group reports and the Government's response visit the Live Exports website.

Further Reading

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