New live export deal with China puts more animals at risk

21 July 2015

World Animal Protection is fearful for the welfare of cattle destined for China. As a new live export agreement with China nears, we are concerned for the animals' welfare on the long journey and at their destinations in China.

China scored just an ‘E’ ranking in the global Animal Protection Index, well behind Australia’s ‘C’ result. Without robust animal protection laws in place in the destination market, a hellish two week journey for these animals on board a live export ship could be just the beginning of their suffering.

The live animal export industry carries unacceptable risks for animal welfare and, as we saw with the quotas to Indonesia last week, is not without significant risk for farmers. 

A transition to a more humane chilled and frozen meat trade would ensure high welfare standards and lower risk for farmers, and we urge the Minister pursue this transition with the vigour he currently devotes to the inherently cruel live export industry. 

A 2012 survey commissioned by World Animal Protection found that 78 per cent of Australians believed live exports were cruel – a majority consistent with another poll from 2011 – and that 74 per cent were more likely to vote for a political candidate who promised to end live animal export.

How many more Australian animals will be subjected to the stress and risks associated with sea voyages, uncertain conditions and treatment at their destinations, before the Minister responds to public opposition to the industry and invests in a transition to a more humane chilled and frozen export industry?

How many more must suffer before the government realises that Australia would be economically better off and more Australians would be employed if we processed our animals locally and exported chilled and frozen meat only?