The live export industry is predicting Thailand could buy up to 30,000 head of Australian cattle a year, after the two countries agreed to health protocols for trade.
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Alison Penfold, says with growing markets in Indonesia and Vietnam, and anticipated opening of a trade with China, beef producers could be hard pressed to meet demand.
Wake up Australia. Clearly, live export is going to compete with the more ideal local processing if this expansion keeps up. Unemployment in Australia is set to rise on current forecasts and we are going to lose the added benefits of local processing to the Australian economy. Surely the Budget is in dire straits without the Government adding to their woes. Bizarre.
Animal welfare groups around the world celebrated in November 2014 when one of the infamously cruel abattoirs, Karantina, was closed down in Beirut. It closed due to fierce international pressure.
So, with Beirut not highly regarded for good welfare in slaughter, why would Mr Joyce ever choose to open up an export trade with Lebanon?
In addition, much of Lebanon is in a state of readiness for war, should the situation in Syria escalate....and we already know from Gaza that Australian animals have no protection in Middle East war zones ....in fact export to Gaza has been suspended for that reason.
So, why? Why? Why?
A peer reviewed scientific paper has carefully analysed the industry-funded, non-peer reviewed study on ASEL stocking densities and found it to be flawed.
Conclusions made by researchers that "the current ASEL stocking densities are appropriate based on the animal welfare indicators applied in these investigations" and that "the research outputs presented in this report will enable the Live Export to objectively defend the current ASEL space allowances"...appear unfounded according to the new paper.
The paper demonstrated that there was poor study design and inadequate measures on which to base the conclusions. But....no doubt industry will still use this study to support current on-board stocking densities. Good science and industry-funded "science" can be two very different things.
The Animal Protection Index establishes a ranking of 50 countries, including Australia, that are among the largest livestock producers. The index assesses animal welfare legislation and policy related to farm animals, animals in captivity, companion animals, working animals, animals used in recreation, animals used in scientific research and animals in the wild.
And guess what? We don't have the best animal welfare in the world after all. We are on par with India and Brazil, countries we might think we outdid...and we are well behind New Zealand. Yep, our neighbours across the ditch, as anticipated, thrash us with an A rating compared to our C. Seems we have been deluding ourselves.