January 11, 2021
Vietnam to develop cattle welfare laws with Australia
Cattle welfare laws consistent with Australian expectations for the treatment of cattle exported overseas will be set out in Vietnam, with the help of Australia's livestock export industry, Farm Weekly reported.
Participants in a recent workshop in Vietnam to discuss the development of the new laws included Australia's Agricultural Counsellor Tony Harman, Tien Nguyen from the Livestock Export Program (LEP), and members of Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The new laws being developed will apply to all cattle in Vietnam, regardless of their origin, covering animal husbandry and handling, disease prevention, transport, traceability, slaughter and food safety.
In the workshop, Harman explained the regulations for exported Australian cattle, while Nguyen talked about the practical benefits of stunning, traceability and other
According to the LEP's manager Livestock Services - Asia Pacific, Michael Patching, there are nearly a million domestic cattle a year processed in Vietnam that do not come under such standards and this creates risks for the Australian industry.
Says Patching: "Being invited by the government in Vietnam to work with them on the development of the laws helps to ensure they are aligned to the international standards which have to be met for Australian cattle, so that local authorities are providing the same level of regulatory oversight.
Even more important is the opportunity to support an important trading partner in a meaningful way that will have lasting impact.
We know the treatment of livestock in our destination markets is a concern for the Australian community and this minimises the risk of poor welfare – not only for our cattle, but for all cattle in Vietnam."
One of the main project outcomes is to have stunning officially recognised as a support tool to ensure good animal welfare at the point of slaughter. Although stunning is already widely used, this would see the Vietnamese government officially promoting it as best practice.
LEP is three-year partnership between research and marketing bodies LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia.