New cattle group tuned in to animal welfare

Zach RelphCountryman
Holly Ludeman outlines The Cattle Collective’s objective at the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association conference in Broome.
Camera IconHolly Ludeman outlines The Cattle Collective’s objective at the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association conference in Broome. Credit: Zach Relph

Kimberley and Pilbara cattle producers comprehend the importance of the nation’s $1.6 billion live cattle trade, according to The Livestock Collective founder Holly Ludeman.

But how can the industry ensure Australia’s city population understand the supply chain’s commitment to animal welfare?

At last Friday’s Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association conference in Broome, Dr Ludeman outlined The Cattle Collective’s bid to dispel the live cattle industry’s falsehoods by sharing its untold stories to the broader public.

The renowned livestock veterinarian admitted she was “preaching to the converted”, acknowledging delegates at the Broome Civic Centre were well aware of the live cattle trade’s animal welfare commitments.

However, once Dr Ludeman finished detailing The Cattle Collective’s trailblazing approach to improve live exports’ transparency, she was met with a resounding applause.

“It is about building trust ... and acceptance of an industry comes through trust,” she said.

“Talking about facts and figures, the value of an industry or how much money goes back to the farm gate is not what people in Sydney or Melbourne want to hear about, they want to hear about shared values.

“A gap in knowledge is there, people want to see the other side of the story, but they need access to it.”

The Cattle Collective, launched at the LIVEXchange conference in Townsville last month, will act as an online avenue to thrust the live cattle trade into the spotlight.

It will share a series of videos via social media featuring members along the supply chain from producers to exporters.

One of The Cattle Collective’s published posts features KPCA chief executive Emma White outlining the live cattle trade’s importance to Kimberley and Pilbara-based cattle producers.

Another includes International Livestock Exports’ Justin Morrissey discussing the correlation between pastoral land value and the live cattle industry.

Dr Ludeman said the group’s engagement online would play a role in discussing why the live cattle trade is a vital element to northern WA communities.

The Cattle Collective will be overseen by not-for-profit organisation The Livestock Collective and is a sub-brand to The Sheep Collective.

The Sheep Collective was founded last year to clear live sheep shipping’s muddy waters after the Awassi Express scandal.

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