Delay on livestock welfare standard

Rebecca TurnerCountryman
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New framework for the live export industry to operate under that will ensure the welfare of Australian livestock may take longer than initially anticipated.

Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has been considering reports from both the Industry Government Working Group on Live Cattle Exports and the Industry Government Working Group on Sheep and Goat Exports.

Both the reports were referred to Bill Farmer for reference in his independent review of Australia's live export trade - the Farmer Review - which was provided to the Government on August 31.

While the reports were presented to the minister almost a month ago, a spokesman from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) was unable to say when the new framework would be established and rolled out in importing countries.

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"The minister has received the Farmer Review; the review and its recommendations are being considered and the Government will respond in due course," the spokesman said.

He confirmed the Government had received the reports from the Industry Government Working Groups and would "use this information to map a way forward for livestock exports according to sound animal welfare principles".

Despite animal rights activists believing there is unprecedented support to end the live export trade, it appears any further changes to Australia's live export industry will take time.

Indonesia is currently the only importer of Australian livestock that operates under new requirements of a secure supply chain of OIE standards, providing complete traceability of Australian cattle from port to point of slaughter.

It was anticipated after the ban on cattle exports to Indonesia that all supply chains in importing countries would face similar scrutiny to guarantee the future of Australia's live export industry.

The DAFF spokesman said the Government was committed to implementing new arrangements across Australia's live export markets as quickly as possible.

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