REPRESENTATIVES from the Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) will share producers’ perspectives of livestock export supply chains in the Middle East at the upcoming LIVEXchange 2017 Conference in Perth, on November 15-16.
SCA CEO, Dr Kat Giles, and outgoing president, Jeff Murray, will participate in a panel session at the livestock export industry conference, discussing their tour of Arabian Gulf live sheep markets in July.
The session will give conference attendees the chance to hear first-hand from Dr Giles and Mr Murray, who is a WA sheep producer, about their time in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.
Dr Giles said she was looking forward to sharing her observations from the supply chain tour at LIVEXchange 2017, especially given the trade’s significance to the Western Australian sheep industry.
“The logistics of our $230 million annual live sheep trade to the Middle East are hard to fully appreciate until you’ve followed the supply chain through to the point of slaughter in-market,” Dr Giles said.
“As a veterinarian and animal nutritionist, as well as a representative of Australia’s sheep producers, I was pleased to see first-hand the livestock systems in place at the facilities we visited.”
Dr Giles said something which left a lasting impression on her was the support amongst importers for the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, which regulates the in-market control, traceability and welfare of Australian livestock through to the point of slaughter.
“The municipal slaughterhouses we saw in Dubai and Muscat were adjacent to sheep market areas and we observed how the tradition of a consumer selecting an animal for purchase can work operationally under ESCAS with the appropriate infrastructure investment,” she said.
“It is important that producers continue to be active stakeholders in the live sheep trade and collaborate with exporters at an industry level to promote long-term sustainability through ongoing market development and animal welfare research initiatives.
“In this context, our participation at LIVEXchange 2017 is an excellent opportunity to continue that conversation with other livestock export stakeholders.”
LIVEXchange 2017 will be held at Crown Towers, Perth, and is expected to attract more than 400 stakeholders including producers, exporters, research scientists, industry and political leaders, and commercial investors from Australia and overseas.
The conference will coincide with SCA’s AGM in Perth on November 15 and the official launch of Sheep Producers Australia, a new company limited by guarantee, to which the existing Sheepmeat Council of Australia is transitioning.