WELLARD Rural Exports exported the largest single shipment of cattle to Russia from Australia on Tuesday, with 7500 head of cattle departing Fremantle.
All up 1000 dairy cattle, 3500 breeding cattle and 3000 fattening steers will make the 18 day trip to Russia, with most of the cattle sourced from the South West of WA and some from areas north of Perth.
Wellard Rural Exports general manager of livestock trading Garry Robinson said the shipment to Russia was a result of increasing demand for breeding and fattening cattle.
"We believe that the export of breeding type animals is one of the most significant areas of growth over the next few years in the live export market, particularly to markets like Russia and Turkey as they re-establish their breeding herds," he said.
"Significantly this is the first shipment of feeder cattle that Russia will feedlot there, and it also has the potential to be a big growth area for the industry."
Mr Robinson said the bigger emphasis on live cattle is new for Russia, as they traditionally import large amounts of chilled and frozen beef product.
"There is an internal push from the Russian government that they should be producing and eating Russian beef," he said.
"Our young feeder cattle imported to fatten in Russia will subsequently be considered to be Russian-produced beef.
"It provides a good opportunity for us to continue to service the protein needs of the Russian Federation."
Special arrangements have been made for the 18 day journey and the cattle will have twice as much room as they normally have on a ship.
Another vessel due to be delivered later in 2010 will also suit long distance trips to places like Russia and Turkey well.
"It has been designed specifically in terms of size to be able to service safely and efficiently these type of animals to these types of markets," Mr Robinson said.
"It is fast, efficient, and economical in delivering high value, high grade livestock."
The breeder cattle, predominately Angus, came from the South West and areas north of Perth.
"I would encourage producers in WA breeding these types of animals to maintain good herd records in regards to the genetic lines they are using and make sure they use pedigree bulls in their production systems," Mr Robinson said.
"That will enable them to more easily capture this market as opportunities become available."
Doctors Valeriy, Alexander and Galina were the three Russian vets on hand to inspect the cattle, and all have left Australia impressed with the quality.
Speaking on behalf of the three doctors through a translator, Dr Valeriy said the health and quarantine standards of the WA cattle industry was very good.
"They were very high quality and a very good export standard," he said.
"You have very unusual kinds of cattle; you can't find this kind of cattle, like the Angus, in other countries except Australia.
"We are very happy, and have enjoyed Australia, compared to other countries the quality of cattle is very high, they're very good."
Dr Valeriy also praised Wellard Rural Exports for their professional conduct and service, saying they are the best company he had dealt with in his experience in the industry.
"We'd like to thank Wellard for having such a high level of service in relation to selecting cattle and looking after the specialists here in Australia," he said.
"In the future we want to communicate in particular with this company because we're very happy."
Dr Valeriy said he was looking forward to being able to source more breeder and feeder cattle in the future.