AACo's Darwin abattoir is officially open. Whilst this abattoir has never been considered an alternative to the live export trade, it is truly commendable, that against all odds (and seemingly only half-hearted pastoralist support), AACo have got this abattoir up and running to serve northern producers. This should boost the chilled meat export trade in addition to providing producers an option for their cattle when they are not suitable for live export. Handy backstop or for whenever the trade ceases too.....?
The Qld live export industry is keen to do away with veterinary pregnancy testing. ACV president Dr Enoch Bergman elegantly explained why veterinarian pregnancy testing is essential to the live export industry. VALE couldn't agree more. There are enough areas of welfare concern and political ramifications in this industry without a few scantily-trained lay operators certifying our cattle…just so that the producers can perhaps save a few more dollars. Lets never forget that this is all about the dollars……ie maximum dollars regardless of animal welfare ramifications.
Of course the question has to be asked: "Why would producers think that cattle veterinarians would support the live ex trade when they want to remove this "bread and butter" business for country veterinarians, the same bread and butter business that enables them to survive and provide livestock services to those same producers. Bizarre.....but then....who cares about those that lose out from the live ex trade (abattoirs and their workers? vets? local businesses that lose out when both go?.).
According to Dr Ross Ainsworth, Cambodia is set to be a perfect destination for our live export trade. Dr Ainsworth is a former CEO of Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association so, not surprisingly, his view of northern live export is fairly rosy.
Whilst Dr Ainsworth is confident that Cambodia is a perfect destination……the fact that cattle can travel along “grey routes” should be a cause of concern for anyone who follows the success of ESCAS. Endless leakage from the supply chain issues in the foreesable future? Loads of unnecessary cattle transport to and from Vietnam? And, for what it is worth, a VALE member who has done veterinary work in Cambodia provided us with this link as they have seen firsthand the animal health and welfare problems in this country - needless to say, they didnt share Dr Ainsworth's optimism.