April 28, 2016


First Australian live cattle since 2008 leaves for Mexico



The first shipment of Australian live cattle in eight years is being sent to Mexico this week, The Weekly Times reports.


This follows the finalisation of the Mexico-Australia breeder protocol last week which sets out the new conditions for Australian breeder cattle to be exported.


According to industry the previous protocol lapsed due to the lack of commercial interest for the Mexican market. With the falling of the Australian dollar and a reduced herd in Mexico due to drought sell-off, demand has been prompted.


The first consignment of cattle has been prepared by the Landmark International Group and consists of 7,000 beef breeder heifers sourced from Victoria, South Australia and southern New South Wales.


Landmark International Group general manager Andy Ingle said, "The Mexican beef herd has reduced in a number of regions due to drought conditions from 2010 to 2014 and in recent years, good seasons and an excess of grass has seen a need to try to rebuild numbers."


Ingle added that the Mexican market was suitable for all beef cattle breeds, although different regions in Mexico preferred particular types of cattle based on their geography and climate.


The consignment leaving from Portland, Victoria this week, which is expected to take 17 days, consists of 70% Angus cattle and 30% European and British-bred breeds.


The new protocol sets out compulsory animal health measures and traceability in accordance with the National Livestock Identification System and works on the basis of Australia's disease status for major diseases like foot and mouth disease.


One of the key changes to the new protocol is the removal of the need to test for Arbovirus. Mexico has recognised Australia's National Arbovirus Monitoring Program and the success of this surveillance programme in disease monitoring. The change is expected to save the cost of the Arbovirus test, which is about A$25 per head.


Livestock exporters and industry service provider LiveCorp are now working with the Australian Government and Mexican authorities on the establishment of feeder and slaughter cattle protocol.

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