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$1 million to boost animal welfare in live export industry.



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

$1 million to boost animal welfare in live export industry 5 July 2008 DAFF08/083B

The Rudd Government has now committed more than $1 million to improve animal welfare standards in overseas ports which process Australian live animal exports.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today announced he had approved an additional $621,500 for new projects, bringing the total funding to more than $1 million in the last six months.

The additional funding includes:

• $464,000 to upgrade port holding sheds, port discharge ramps and sheep handling facilities in the Middle East, Indonesia and Russia. Improved infrastructure will reduce livestock stress in transit and reduce the possibility of injury to animals as they are unloaded from ships and moved to feedlots and abattoirs;

• $75,000 to develop training videos, books and signs to be displayed in markets and other areas. Material will be directed at feedlot managers, livestock handlers and transport staff, feedlot stockmen and importers. Material will be provided in English, Arabic, Urdu and Tagalog; and

• $82,500 to install 15 additional restraint boxes in Indonesia, to reduce stress for animals. Indonesia is Australia’s biggest market for exported cattle. This latest approval brings the number of restraining boxes in Indonesia to 90.

Mr Burke said Australia remained committed to world’s best practice in animal welfare for live exports.

The Government also recently announced a $7.6 million extension to the Live Animal Trade Program over four years, to further invest in training, education and infrastructure improvement and continue a counsellor position in Dubai to support increased exports to the Middle East.

Exports are an important part of a vibrant livestock sector in Australia, generating $730 million in earnings annually and supporting more than 10,000 rural and regional jobs.