10 March 2010
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today announced more funding to further improve animal welfare for live exports and support trade in overseas markets.
Three new projects worth around $1 million in total will be funded under the Rudd Government’s Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership.
The Government and livestock exporters and producers will invest a total of more than $900,000 in the projects to improve animal welfare in the Middle East and South East Asia, which are Australia’s major live export markets.
Mr Burke said improving the welfare of animals is crucial to support a sustainable and profitable live export trade.
“Previous governments have shut down export markets. We have opened them up and at the same time invested with industry to improve animal welfare standards in overseas markets,” Mr Burke said.
“This means we can meet community expectations for animal welfare while still supporting jobs in regional Australia.
“Our involvement in the livestock export trade and our international leadership in animal welfare allows Australia to influence conditions for animals in overseas markets.”
The projects aim to improve post-arrival animal welfare by upgrading animal handling infrastructure and providing training to those involved in animal handling and transport in the Middle East and South East Asia.
The partnership is funding a range of improvements to upgrade and maintain animal holding and handling facilities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Training will also be provided to local animal handlers in each of the countries.
These projects were recommended for funding by the Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership Project Advisory Committee which was established by Mr Burke to advise on the projects.
The committee includes representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the live animal export industry and an independent member.
The Australian Government announced the expanded program in the 2009-10 Budget which is funded under a co contribution arrangement with the live export industry.
More information on the LTAWP is available at www.daff.gov.au/market-access-trade/iac/live-animal-trade.