INDEPENDENT LIVESTOCK EXPORT REVIEW SUBMISSION COVER SHEET Closing date for submissions is 15 July 2011.

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Pr oducer s of t he wor l d’ s most ver sat i l e and uni que f i br e . . . .

MERI NO WOOL


INDEPENDENT LIVESTOC
K EXPORT REVIEW

SUBMISSION COVER SHE
ET

Closing date for submissions is 15 July 2011.

Please complete and submit this form with your submission to:

Email:

livestockexportreview@daff
.gov.au

Post:

Independent Livestock Export Review

GPO Box 858

Canberra ACT 2601

Organisation or
individual:

The Australian Association
o
f Stud Merino Breeders Limited

Principal contact:

Edward Dugan

Position:

Executive Director

Telephone:

02 9763 2744

Fax:


02 9763 1878


Mobile:

0419481173

Email address:

ed
@merinos.com.au

Street address:

The Australian Merino Centre


Level 2

RAS Administration B
uilding


1 Showground Road


Suburb/City:

Sydney Olympic Park

State:

NSW

Postcode:

2127

Postal address:

Locked Bag 4317


Suburb/City:

Sydney Olympic Park

State:

NSW

Postcode:

2127


Is all or part of your
submission confidential?


Yes, all

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††† ††††††††
乯††


If part, please identify
which sections are
confidential:




Reason for confidentiality:





Pr oducer s of t he wor l d’ s most ver sat i l e and uni que f i br e . . . .

MERI NO WOOL


THE AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION OF STUD MERINO BREEDERS LIMITED

(Incorporated in NSW)

ABN 51 003 352 930



The Australian Merino Centre

Level 2, RAS Administration Bldg

1 Showground Road

Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127



Tel:

02 9763 2744

Fax:

02 9763 1878





Correspondence:


Locked Bag 4317


Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127




Email:

office@merinos.com.au


Website: www.merinos.com.au


Independent Livestock Export Review

GPO Box 858

Canberra ACT 2601

Australia


In regard to the
Independent review into Australia's livestock e
xport trade
, we thank the
Committee for the opportunity to submit the

following

comments.


The Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders Limited (AASMB) is the
F
ederal association
that represents six state Merino organisations
and

approximately 1100 r
egistered Merino studs in
all parts of Australia except the Northern Territory
.


Merino sheep and wool production has historically been one of Australia’s major export earners
and remains the major
animal
grazing

enterprise

of Australian primary production
.


A
ASMB

members are keen and rapid adopt
ers

of sound animal husbandry
methods,
production
technologies
and

animal welfare practices, which provide both ethical and economic
advances.


The
Association is an exporter of live stud animals
and genetic mater
ial
via its members
into
International markets
and regions
which

seek to utilise the genetic gains in animal production
which our members and the Australian Merino industry have developed over a long term.


In regard to the
Terms of Reference for this revi
ew part
G:
-

other matters relevant to these terms
of reference that the reviewer considers appropriate


The AASMB
is one of the
principal
caretakers of the brand name “Merino” and the association has
played

and continues to play

a
n

important role in assist
ing past and present
Australian livestock
exporters
by developing a product which is worthy of promotion as a brand in the international
export market. Merino sheep breeders have been successful in the development of a breed of
sheep which is highly adapt
able to a wide range of climatic environments and now is a true dual
purpose animal which is capable of producing
high

quality fibre and meat products
.

T
his type of
agricultural
activity

differs from other main stream animal production as
it largely remai
ns a
grazing enterprise

and unless climatic conditions are very poor, Merino sheep can survive and
thrive in conditions without the
supports
of grain or
supplementary
fodder.


The Merino is the backbone of the Australian sheep industry and as such many of
the nations
domestic and
key export markets are reliant on the breed. The
ongoing
demand
in i
nternational
markets
for quality food

products which offer reliable and consistent traceably is also well
supported by the Australian Merino production sectors as

Merino sheep
and merino cross and
comeback breeds
offer consumers
a consistent product with
high levels of satisfaction in terms of
taste and tenderness. The domestic market is a strong supporter of
Merino
sheep meats but this
market
requires and
need
s

t
he
support from
strong and stable

export markets
.



Pr oducer s of t he wor l d’ s most ver sat i l e and uni que f i br e . . . .

MERI NO WOOL


The AASMB strongly supports
and would encourage that
the
Terms of Reference for this review
part A:



the ongoing development of the facilities, treatment, handling and slaughter of livestock,
exported fr
om Australia, in the importing country for consistency with the World Organisation
for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations and standards set out in Terrestrial Animal Health
Code (2010) published by the World Organisation for Animal Health and other releva
nt
standards


and part B:


the adequacy of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) as they apply to the
preparation and export of all livestock with consideration of responsibilities for compliance and
enforcement of the ASEL


be
adopte
d
in a
dynamic
method which will both maintain the ongoing development of this trade
while allowing

the Australian Government to work closely with
live export
trade in a clear and
transparent manner
.
The introduction of a
S
tandard
C
ontract which includes
parts A and B

could
also
ensure that a

strong and accountable livestock export sector will
remain and
continue to
grow, deve
lop and prosper

from the producer to the end processor and consumer
.


The Merino breeding industry has been supported by the major l
ivestock exporters who have
played an important role in
the international marketplace in
both
,

the education, development
and ongoing support of practical and destination relevant animal welfare conditions. The live
sheep export market is now different to

that of the past and we trust that this development will
continue. The livestock
exporter’s

activities have also been well supported by organisations such
as Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and LiveCorp

who also know the characteristics and the
specific
ations of the Australian Merino well
.


The
AASMB also understands that the
markets,

in which
Australian

live sheep
exporters operate
in, are often very culturally different and in the most, slow to adapt to change when compared
with the “easier” markets fo
r mainstream chilled or frozen meat in Europe and Northern Asia. The
work to date in general animal husbandry and handling methods, together with relevant technical
and veterinary support has greatly improved and seems to continue to be improving
. Matchi
ng a
type of animal which suits the local specifications, and the terms of trade of the buyers requires
experience and strong local knowledge.
The complexity of trade in turn

prevents new

unscrupulous
” exporters from this trade
as
unless they are prepare
d to invest large amounts of
time and capital needed to operate and comply with management practices needed to allow
animals
to

arrive at the end destination

in a condition which matches the buyer’s contract
specifications
. The AASMB believe that is an im
portant factor for any
established
exporter to
continue to receive support and
then
demand that these improvements
be implemented in
partnership so that trade is dynamic and c
ontinue
s

to improve and

evolve
. Sound trade

which is
supported by technical tran
sfer programs

will

inturn will produce positive results
and can
then
be

used as an example to any slower technical adopters

in developing markets
.


The AASMB strongly believes that under the current
climatic
conditions the numbers of sheep in
the national
flock is economically sustainable
,

given the demand for animals for both restocking
for wool production, and the
sheep meat

consumer markets. The live export markets also provide
the industry with a strong base price which in turn makes the animal grazing

industries
economically sustainable.


Pr oducer s of t he wor l d’ s most ver sat i l e and uni que f i br e . . . .

MERI NO WOOL


The current prices for sheep at markets in Eastern and Western Australian markets have shown
continuity in that it could be expected that these prices should persist for the near future.
This

trend toward higher pric
es
,

when combined with the international
buyer’s

willingness to support
these levels
;

even
at
a very high exchange rate

basis
, will continue to improve the Animal Welfare
conditions and practices in the international destinations. Australian live sheep ar
e keenly sought
in the international marketplace and will never be a cheap option for buyers in the key markets as
the fixed chargers of the export trade
are

high when compared with other suppliers in closer
markets.
In any market
,

the higher the value of

the product, the better the product is cared
for
and provided for
.


The expectation of ongoing demand and the possibility of higher prices should
also encourage longer term investment in animal welfare and handling conditions at the
point of

destination.


The other parts of this review
P
arts C to
F

are
important
issues to
the AASMB
but are
seen as the
terms of trad
e of the commercial
livestock
exporters.


We
again
thank the Committee for the opportunity to submit
to this review

and the AASMB is
available f
or any further on going discussions if needed.


Yours Faithfully



Tom Ashby

President AASMB