THE livestock industry is well-prepared for the upcoming busy religious festivals in key Muslim markets, according to Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chairman Simon Crean.
Mr Crean said the annual spike in demand for live animals for the Festival of the Sacrifice (known as Eid al-Adha in the Middle East and Korban in South-East Asia) on September 1 presented challenges to livestock exporters and their importing customers.
But he said increased preparation had boosted the industry’s confidence that this year’s festival would deliver further progress in the management of Australian livestock during the annual celebrations.
“Not only does the Festival of the Sacrifice place considerable pressure on Australia’s world-leading control and traceability livestock systems, it also places increased attention on the integrity of our supply chains,” Mr Crean said.
“Our industry welcomes that scrutiny because we are proud of the continuous improvements we’re achieving and we do not shy away from the challenges and risks inherent during these busy periods.”
We do not shy away from the challenges and risks inherent during these busy periods.
He said poor welfare outcomes were unacceptable, and the relevant powers would be exercised in response to any deliberate breaches.
“Our industry’s objective is to continue to work with our international customers to identify and control any risks in the supply chain, and respond promptly whenever the welfare of Australian livestock is threatened,” he said.
“Despite our best efforts, we accept that no system is 100 per cent fail-safe, and that the biggest risk to the welfare of Australian livestock is leakage from approved supply chains.
“Exporters have already been pro-active in reporting and rectifying supply chain leakages in recent weeks, and will continue to monitor for any non-compliance.”
Mr Crean said the festival period would be underpinned by joint initiatives between exporters and their customers, including streamlined supply chains, greater in-market uptake of carcase-only sales and support for charity slaughter initiatives, increased promotion to customers of electronic ticketing and online pre-purchasing of carcases, and consignment of smaller volumes in some supply chains to reduce the risk of oversupply.