Livestock Export Review

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Last updated: 27 Jul 2011

Andrew Gunnyon

Please find attached my submission form to the live animal export review. And please consider the below information as an official submission to the live export trade review.

I find it unacceptable for Australia to continue the live animal export trade in the knowledge that we can never ensure the wellbeing of our animals from the moment they leave our shores.

All investigations into the live animal export trade by RSPCA and Animals Australia has shown that the live animal export trade is indeed cruel and very stressful on the Animals from the time they are loaded on to the ships, and to the time where they are slaughtered inhumanly by inexperienced slaughter men with the use of un professional industry equipment.

Most (if not all) countries who import Australian cattle and sheep do not have laws in place to protect Australian animals from unnecessary cruelty, and all of them do NOT meet Australian standards which requires the animal to be stunned before having it's throat slit for slaughter.

The industry (in particular Meat and Live Stock Australia) has clearly been shown to be incapable of raising animal welfare standards in their export markets to an acceptable level and that Australia can no longer put its faith in them to do so.

Three separate independent economic reports over the past two years have found that live exports are undermining Australia’s meat processing industry.

ACIL Tasman’s reviews [1] into the live sheep trade found that phasing out live sheep exports would have a minimal impact on farmers and would in fact reap long-term benefits for farmers and the economy through increased processing in Australia.

In 2010, a report [2] commissioned by Australia’s leading meat processors - Teys Bros, Swift Australia and Nippon Meat Packers Australia – reached damning conclusions as to the impact of live cattle
exports on Queensland’s beef industry.

The report found:

  • Live cattle exports are cannibalising Queensland’s beef-processing industry and threaten to destroy $3.5 billion worth of assets, $5 billion in turnover and 36,000 jobs.
  • Far from being complementary, live exports compete with and undermine Australia’s beef exports.
  • Live cattle exports equals Australian job losses and a threat to Australia’s capacity to supply the growing world demand for beef.
  • Queensland cattle are increasingly being exported live to Indonesia taking with them lost processing opportunities in Queensland.
  • Indonesia actively protects its own beef industry and live cattle imports by banning key beef cuts and imposing high tariffs on imported beef product – there is not a level playing field.

Live cattle exports means premium disease-free cattle are being processed in importing countries and sold in competition with genuine imported Australian beef.

Australia’s major meat processors have confirmed that Australia has the capacity to process all cattle and sheep currently going to live export.

Contrary to industry claims, live export does not underpin 10,000 jobs in the rural sector. The majority of those jobs would remain if animals were processed in Australia. In fact thousands of jobs would be created by increased domestic processing.

On the basis of these reports I find that the only responsible option available is to ban live animal exports and move towards a frozen meat trade industry to provide job security and provide Animal welfare standards that ensure Australian Animals will be treated according to Australian Laws. This will also allow the Government body to monitor the industry.

Thank you.

Andrew Gunnyon
(Victoria)