Sep 1, 2020 | Live Animal Exports

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April 2022


Australia has world-class animal husbandry standards and as farmers are renowned for producing high quality stock.

The live export industry is an important part of Australia’s agricultural sector and an example of our nation helping less developed nations achieve their full potential.

Animal cruelty in any circumstance is unacceptable, which is why the Australian Government, through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, has strict standards and regulations governing the export of livestock.

It is important to note that most livestock export voyages are undertaken without incident. Publicly available data shows that more than 99% of livestock exported from Australia arrive at their destination with good animal welfare outcomes.

The Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock sets the minimum animal health and welfare requirements the livestock export industry must meet throughout the supply chain, from sourcing to completion of disembarkation overseas.

When livestock arrive in an importing country, exporters must ensure they are handled and slaughtered in accordance with the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS). ESCAS is a set of regulatory conditions placed on exporters, requiring them to have arrangements in place with supply chain partners to ensure humane treatment and handling of livestock is provided from the time the animals arrive in the importing country up to and including the point of slaughter.

Australia is the only country in the world with such a regulatory system in operation.

Australian livestock exports play an important role in providing nutrition in markets where inadequate cold chains, prohibitive costs or cultural preferences limit adoption of chilled meat alternatives. In some of these countries, meat is purchased in small amounts at markets and cooked on the same day. Australia is also an important source of high-quality breeding animals for other countries that are seeking to improve their self-sufficiency and economic growth through agricultural diversity.

The live export trade generates significant income for the Australian economy and supports tens of thousands of people employed across associated industries throughout rural and regional Australia.

The Australian Government will continue to ensure our exporters deliver good animal welfare outcomes across approved export supply chains.

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