AUSTRALIA'S livestock export industry will deliver further animal welfare improvements in its biggest cattle export market, Indonesia, following the release of an independent study commissioned by the industry’s Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership with the Australian Government.
The Independent study into animal welfare conditions for cattle in Indonesia from point of arrival from Australia to slaughter was conducted by a panel led by Professor Emeritus in Veterinary Science at Melbourne University, Prof Ivan Caple, and assessed 17 Indonesian facilities to rate the effectiveness of the industry’s animal welfare programs.
The review found the welfare of Australian cattle in Indonesia was generally good and provided recommendations for further animal welfare improvements in Indonesia. Industry has already implemented or has scheduled these improvements for action including: improving point of slaughter training materials and further extending animal handler competency through training programs and ongoing review and support
encouraging the adoption of stunning in the slaughter of Australian cattle. structuring journey management guidelines to ensure long-haul transport provides sufficient rest-time for livestock. delivering further feedlot management programs to expand the technical support provided to Indonesian feedlotters.
LiveCorp CEO Cameron Hall said the livestock export industry is committed to making ongoing improvements in Indonesia and fully supports all of the recommendations made by the expert panel.
“We’re pleased the study has recognised the good animal welfare standards in Indonesia for Australian cattle,” he said.
“Many of the areas requiring further improvement are best addressed by extending or modifying programs currently being delivered by Meat & Livestock Australia and LiveCorp, with the support of the Indonesian and Australian Governments,” said Mr Hall.
“The industry has long recognised the importance of improving the welfare of Australian cattle in Indonesia, particularly at the point of processing, and this is reflected clearly in our action plan and our annual investment of over $1 million into animal welfare in Indonesia.
“Indonesia is Australia’s largest and most important live cattle export market and is the major market outlet for cattle producers across northern Australia. Ensuring ongoing improvements in animal welfare is critical to the long term sustainability of the trade, and continued improvement in animal welfare in Indonesia is the livestock export industry’s highest priority,” Mr Hall concluded.
Other panel members included Prof. Neville Gregory, University of London; Dr Penelope McGowan, beef cattle veterinarian and member of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA); and Dr Paul Cusack, a nutrition and feedlot expert.