THE Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council supports the initiative taken by its exporter member Wellard with regard to its dairy heifer export program to Sri Lanka, including the extension of its technical support program beyond the contracted period to prevent ongoing or future animal welfare risks.
ALEC shares Wellard’s concern for the welfare of the exported cattle and supports Wellard’s ongoing work, which it confirmed publicly in March, with the Sri Lankan Government to review aspects of the program where welfare risks have arisen.
ALEC notes that Wellard has not exported any dairy heifers to Sri Lanka since December 2017 and will not ship any further dairy heifers to Sri Lanka until its ongoing review in conjunction with the Sri Lankan Government is completed and changes implemented.
Exporters are not complacent about ensuring importing countries have the infrastructure and expertise needed to care for breeder livestock sourced from Australia, especially when the imported animals are distributed to a large number of small, family farms.
Healthy, productive cattle are at the heart of successful breeder initiatives and ongoing, on-the-ground investment is made by exporters, with industry assistance from LiveCorp, to ensure not only the immediate wellbeing of exported cattle, but also to help build the longer-term capacity of local farmers in terms of animal husbandry.
Risk management is an integral part of the livestock export industry and Australian livestock exporters are proud of the way the industry helps developing countries improve the productivity of their livestock industries.
The introduction of modern genetics, boosting agricultural productivity and providing economic opportunities for local families working with livestock are very positive initiatives. It is important Australia continues to play a leading role in these programs.