Delivering $8.3 million for a new livestock export assurance system
-> $8.3 million 2017-18 Budget measure will assist livestock exporters implement the Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP) -> The program will work with the current Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) to better protect the welfare of animals by ensuring independent, comprehensive supply chain assessment -> The Coalition Government will remain the regulator of the Australian livestock export industry and all exporters of livestock for slaughter must still be able to demonstrate compliance with ESCAS
Livestock exporters will receive support in implementing a new scheme to improve efficiency and competitiveness of trade following a commitment of $8.3 million in the Coalition Government’s 2017/18 Budget on Tuesday.
Government is delivering on its election commitment to reduce the burden of red tape on Australian livestock exporters, contributing $8.3 million over four years to assist industry implement the Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP).
During a visit to Gracemere, in Central Queensland today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said the program will maintain the high standards of animal welfare that underpin the trade.
“The Livestock Global Assurance Program is an industry-led scheme that will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of our live exporters, however the government will still remain the regulator of the Australian livestock export industry,” Minister Joyce said.
“While ESCAS has delivered significant improvements to animal welfare, it imposes a significant regulatory and financial burden, costing government and industry an estimated $17.6 million annually.
“It’s a program that speaks to the Coalition’s determination to deliver strong and continually improving outcomes across the board, whether it’s animal welfare or the record returns that live exports have delivered for the nation under this government.
“The value of livestock exports since October 2013 now sits just shy of $5 billion, an incredible return to the nation delivered by rural and regional Australia and a return to the farmgate for the efforts of farmers.”
Echoing Minister Joyce’s sentiments, Ken O’Dowd, said the program is one more example of the practical approach the government is taking to secure and improve outcomes for the livestock export industry.
“This new program is a step towards reducing that burden and improving the independence, integrity, transparency and accountability of the live animal export trade,” Mr O’Dowd said.
Joining the Deputy Prime Minister at today’s announcement, neighbouring Member for Capricornia, Ms Landry said the investment reflected the government’s absolute commitment to the returns the live export industry delivers to the national economy, to local communities and to families at the farmgate.
“Australia exported almost $1.8 billion worth of livestock in 2015–16, across an industry that generates domestic employment of up to 10 000 people,” Ms Landry said.
“The government is pleased to support systems that strengthen the basis of our national exports and reduce the burden on farmers, like those in Flynn, as they work to benefit the nation.”
Fast Facts: -> Australia is the only country of more than 100 countries that export live animals that requires World Organisation for Animal Health welfare standards to be met as a minimum for exported livestock.
-> The ESCAS performance report released in January 2015 demonstrates that more than 99 per cent of Australian livestock were exported without reported incident since the introduction of ESCAS.
-> Australia exported almost $1.8 billion worth of livestock in 2015-16. Australia’s live export industry generates domestic employment of up to 10 000 people