Live Animal Export Trade

By Carly

The Live Animal Export Trade ~

The live export industry is a very important part of Australia in many ways and it has been for many years. In fact, in 2009 the industry earned $996.5 and established the employment of over 10000 people from all over rural Australia!


As the Australian government continues to work cooperatively with with our trading partners, they are addressing post arrival welfare concerns and to improve transportation, handling and slaughter practices of livestock in overseas markets.

There are a few rules that exporters need to follow so the animals are treated well during road and sea transportation. Ships must comply with strict rules about ventilation, drainage and provision of water and food. Also, each animal must have access to food and water on demand and enough space to lie down, finally the most important rule is that there must be seperate pens for sick animals to receive vetinary care.

Cattle and Sheep Export Destinations

Cattle and sheep are exported to a lot of different places all around the world, whether it be by boat or truck.


Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, territories administered by Palestine, Ukraine, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Brunei, China, Japan, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and the Philippines.

Feeder Cattle

Qatar, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, territories administered by Palestine, Mauritius, Kuwait, Mexico, China, India, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and the USA

Frozen Chilled meat

Australia has developed a significant trade in meat to Muslim market in the Middle East and Asia. In 2005 the total value of processed meats was more than $5.9 billion (compared to around $700 million for live exports).

In spite of that, Australia meatworks have shown they can slaughter livestock according to religious beliefs, the need for trade on live animals contuinues as some markets have a strong cruelty preference for freshly slaughtered meat. Even though it is not Australia, some countries are terribly slaughtering livestock.

Australian standard

The Australian standard for export of livestock defines a level on a voyage or air journey as the percentages listed below:

Sheep and Goats: 2%

Cattle and buffalo on a voyage less than 10 days: 0.5%

Cattle and buffalo on a voyage more than 10 days: 1%

Camelids: 2%

Deer: 2%

There is evidence that if Australia were to withdraw from live exports, there would be no increased trade in processed Australian meat. So, the livestock export industry is defiantly an important part to Australia, but many countries are taking it for granted and slaughtering innocent animals that could be used for farming or other roles.


Facts about the Live Animal Export trade

  • Australia is the only country that requires specific animal welfare outcomes for livestock exports
  • About 570,000 cattle, 4.2 million sheep, and 40,000 goats were exported to more than 30 countries in 2005
  • Since the mid 1970s the livestock export trade has grown significantly to become a vital component of Australia’s agricultural export earnings.
  • ​The livestock export trade is of great importance to regional and rural Australia and vital to the red meat industry.