RSPCA Australia is calling on the Government to stop forcing live exports onto Australia‚Äôs burgeoning beef markets, and instead concentrate on growing our high welfare, high value beef export trade in those countries.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia, in 2014 China was Australia‚Äôs fourth largest beef export market and projections indicate that long-term demand will be strong. Similarly the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences identified China as an ‚Äòemerging‚Äô market providing ‚Äòsignificant opportunities‚Äô for our red meat exports.
‚ÄúChina now imports more beef in a month than it did for the entire 2011 calendar year; sending live export animals into these markets is completely unnecessary,‚Äù said Heather Neil, CEO RSPCA Australia.
‚ÄúChina is already a great success story for Australia‚Äôs beef export market. In 2013/2014 we sent $790 million worth of beef to China - that‚Äôs an increase of almost 3000% since 2009.
‚ÄúThis exponential growth is being driven by a rapidly expanding middle class, that by 2030 will number an estimated one billion; this group demands food safety and quality, characteristics for which Australian beef is famous.
‚ÄúThere is absolutely no need to compromise the lives of Australian animals by sending them on a cruel live export journey to destinations where their welfare is not assured when international markets are literally eating up our clean, green beef.
‚ÄúThe Government must focus its energies on growing the meat trade on a global scale, making it as profitable as possible for our producers and ensuring the welfare of our animals at the same time,‚Äù said Ms Neil.