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New projects to boost animal welfare in live export industry.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

New projects to boost animal welfare in live export industry

8 May 2009 DAFF09/237B

The Rudd Government is investing another $450,000 to improve animal welfare in key destinations for Australian livestock in the Middle East and Asia.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today announced four new projects under the Live Animal Trade Program which funds training, education and infrastructure improvements in overseas ports that process Australia’s live animal exports.

“By supporting Australian industries and jobs we are helping to cushion the impact of the global recession on local economies,” Mr Burke said.

“The Rudd Government wants to ensure Australia remains a world leader in animal welfare for live exports, by continuing to work in partnership with other countries.

“These grants represent further important investments in infrastructure and training to help reduce animals’ stress and educate handlers.”

The Rudd Government has now approved projects worth more than $2.4 million under the program which was given a four-year, $7.6 million extension in 2008.

The four new projects will deliver:

• infrastructure upgrades and technical assistance on animal handling and processing standards for unloading ports in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar, and new cattle restraint facilities to improve slaughter practices;

• World Organisation for Animal Health-consistent low-stress animal handling and transport training for stock handlers at feedlots and ports in Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt;

• new Standard Operating Procedures to facilitate the training of those involved in livestock handling and slaughter in Asia; and • upgrades to unloading facilities, the installation of new animal restraint boxes and new stunning equipment to improve animal welfare outcomes in Vietnam.

The Australian livestock export industry is providing additional funding to support some of these projects.

The live animal export industry generates more than $900 million annually and supports more than 10,000 rural and regional jobs.