Australian government livestock delegation to Middle East on animal welfare

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 25th January 2012

Australia’s agricultural minister Senator Joe Ludwig, is to lead a delegation to the Middle East. The delegation will meet next week with governments and importers to determine a new regulatory framework that seeks to improve welfare for livestock exported from Australia, to meet international standards.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar make up significant markets for livestock exports for Australia and new supply chain assurance frameworks are to apply to a number of these markets from the end of February 2012.

Senator Ludwig said the visit represents an important way to communicate Australia’s export reforms with foreign government officials and importers to ensure assistance in Australian exporters’ establishment in their supply chain assurance.

The Australian delegation includes representatives from the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Sheep Meat Council of Australia, Livecorp, and the Cattle Council of Australia.

“The Gillard Government has committed $5 million for exporters on a co-contribution basis who wish to upgrade their supply chains to improve animal welfare outcomes.” Senator Ludwig said.

Reforms to Australia’s livestock export trade were announced by the Australian government on October 21 2011, in response to a review which occurred after the debacle of the ban initiated by Senator Ludwig’s department on live cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011. This ban was subsequently lifted by the Australian government and the government introduced a scheme to compensate cattle producers in Northern Australia.