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Review of livestock welfare indicators relevant for the Australian live export industry

Fleming, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0626-3851, Wickham, S.L., Dunston-Clarke, E.J., Willis, R.S., Barnes, A.L.ORCID: 0000-0002-7227-230X, Miller, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-4634-5819 and Collins, T.ORCID: 0000-0003-4597-0812 (2020) Review of livestock welfare indicators relevant for the Australian live export industry. Animals, 10 (7). Article 1236.

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Animal welfare is an important issue for the live export industry (LEI), in terms of economic returns, community attitudes and international socio-political relations. Mortality has traditionally been the main welfare measure recorded within the LEI; however, high mortality incidents are usually acted upon after adverse events occur, reducing the scope for proactive welfare enhancement. We reviewed 71 potential animal welfare measures, identifying those measures that would be appropriate for use throughout the LEI for feeder and slaughter livestock species, and categorised these as animal-, environment- and resource-based. We divided the live export supply chain into three sectors: (1) Australian facilities, (2) vessel and (3) destination country facilities. After reviewing the relevant regulations for each sector of the industry, we identified 38 (sector 1), 35 (sector 2) and 26 (sector 3) measures already being collected under current practice. These could be used to form a ‘welfare information dashboard’: a LEI-specific online interface for collecting data that could contribute towards standardised industry reporting. We identified another 20, 25 and 28 measures that are relevant to each LEI sector (sectors 1, 2, 3, respectively), and that could be developed and integrated into a benchmarking system in the future.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Copyright: © 2020 by the authors
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