There was a 53% percent decline on the five-year-average for June 2022. Exports to both Indonesia (48% below five year average) and Vietnam (64% below five year average) were both down and trade of breeding and dairy cattle to China also thankfully decreased.
So for the 2021-2022 financial year, only 603 586 cattle, well below five year average of 997,667 head. Perhaps its time for a cattle phase out too?
With FMD raging in Indonesia, the livestock industry keeps calling for Bali tourists to have footbaths on their return (a pretty good idea!) or for a ban on tourism to Bali ....but no-one is asking for a ban (suspension) on live-ex to Indonesia. They are just not worried (or not mentioning) about the risk of cattle ships bringing FMD back. Short turnaround time, shared personnel across the countries handling stock directly and limited ability to ensure good disinfection on ships....
If farmers can call for a stop to the tourist trade, then surely they should be looking a little closer to home at one of the biggest risks - live ex ships!
Australian live export commentator and veterinarian Ross Ainsworth has recently expressed surprised that Australian cattle are still being imported by Indonesia ie into a country where FMD raging. In addition, he recommends Australian tourists come back from Bali to footbaths. These recommendations have avoided the obvious questions:
1) why is Australia allowing our FMD naive cattle to be exported to a country with an FMD epidemic - this is a serious animal welfare issue and there should be trade suspension to Indonesia whilst the FMD epidemic is out of control (we could send boxed meat instead....)
2) what biosecurity measures are in place for difficult-to-disinfect cattle ships returning back from Indonesia....and what of their crew (eg Australian stockpersons) when they get off, for example, the Nine Eagle in Broome in a few days?
Allowing live cattle ships fro Australia to Indonesia at the moment is a major biosecurity and animal welfare risk.