Beef Central reports that a new report commissioned by research bodies LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia, in association with Dairy Australia, outlines the value of the live dairy cattle export trade and the benefit it brings to different regions of southern Australia. The trade was worth $258 million in 2020-21, of which $180 million was retained by dairy farmers.
So with that amount of money, wouldnt you think that exporters and farmers would be proactive about animal welfare in this trade. VALE's peer-reviewed scientific paper analysing voyages to China (long haul voyages that are invariably NOT accompanied by a veterinarian) revealed the astounding magnitude of welfare issues for these valuable animals. Is the industry going to wait for a Pakistani seamen to film or are they going to respond to the problems clearly identified in this paper? With these margins it is time to be proactive not reactive.
NOTE: One of the issues discovered in the VALE analysis (running low on food or running out of food on voyages to China) was likely a factor involved in the sinking of the Gulf Livestock 1 after it sailed through a typhoon rather than going around - a pretty extreme consequence of an issue that could have been averted.
Sheep Central reports that Livestock Collective, a live export lobby group has claimed “Whilst we are not a lobbying group, we do exist to ensure everyone has access to real, transparent insights into the industry so that informed decisions can be made,” The claim was made in an email detailing how industry stakeholders could subscribe to support its activities.
Quote of the day in response to this comment from Dr Jed Goodfellow, Alliance for Animals policy director : “If it looks like a lobby group and quacks like a lobby group, it probably is a lobby group.”
Dr Goodfellow said the Livestock Collective is effectively a lobby group for the live sheep export trade that’s trading off the good name and reputation of the broader Australian livestock sector. “Its origins can be traced back to Emanuel Exports. It created the Sheep Collective in the wake of the Awassi Express disaster as the company was facing criminal prosecution for animal cruelty – and still is – and the trade was embroiled in an existential crisis,” he said.
VALE agrees with Dr Goodfellow “These are not the best origins for an organisation whose mission is to build the social licence of Australia’s livestock sector."