The department has completed its review of heat and cold stress in Bos taurus cattle from southern Australia during long-haul export by sea. The review examined the data from 214 long-haul voyages from southern Australia over 5 years from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2020, exporting more than 1 million cattle.
The review found the regulatory settings for the export of Bos taurus cattle by sea are effective in managing animal welfare. While animal welfare issues were identified in some voyage reports examined in the review, changes to standards (such as stocking density decreases and new bedding requirements) introduced under the revised Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock on 1 November 2020 have addressed many of these.
The review provides evidence-based recommendations for improvements to export arrangements to support animal welfare during preparation and transport of Bos taurus cattle consignments from southern Australian ports during long-haul export by sea.
The final report incorporated input from a technical expert group and stakeholder feedback received during public consultation on the draft report in late 2021.
In submissions received on the draft report, industry and welfare groups supported the key recommendation of the review: that a suitable heat stress risk assessment should be applied all year round for southern-sourced Bos taurus slaughter cattle to all destinations.
The department is using the findings of this review to engage with industry to continue to enhance the welfare of cattle in this supply chain.
The final report is available at agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/export/controlled-goods/live-animals/animal-welfare/livestock-welfare-reviews/bos-taurus-review