November 23, 2023


Vietnam adopts new cattle welfare standards, aligning with Australia's beef industry



Vietnam has introduced new voluntary animal standards for cattle, to align with Australia's robust animal welfare practices, at the Australia-Vietnam Beef Cattle Symposium held in Hanoi, Countryman reported.


These standards, applicable to all cattle regardless of origin, mirror the guidelines governing the treatment of Australian cattle exported to Vietnam through the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System.


Vietnam is the second-largest market for live Australian cattle. LiveCorp chief executive officer Wayne Collier, who attended the symposium, expressed satisfaction with Vietnam's commitment to animal welfare. He said that Australia is unique in requiring exporters to ensure that animal welfare standards in destination countries surpass guidelines set by the World Organisation for Animal Health.


The new standards in Vietnam are expected to benefit local cattle by aligning expectations for animal welfare with those established for Australian cattle. Collier noted the efforts made by Australian exporters over the years to build relationships, invest in training, and collaborate with supply chain partners in Vietnam for continuous improvement in practices.


Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture, after three years of development and consultation with stakeholders, national, and provincial government officials, introduced these standards. The initiative received support from the Australian Government, which provided a US$135,000 grant, along with resources from LiveCorp and MLA's Livestock Export Programme for information campaigns and training.


The Livestock Export Programme, part of Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), focuses on in-market professional development and training for workers in feedlots and abattoirs to enhance market access and regulatory compliance. Spencer Whitaker, MLA Asia Pacific market development manager, highlighted the rapid growth and modernisation of Vietnam's cattle industry since it began importing Australian cattle in 2013.


While nearly two million Australian cattle have been exported to Vietnam in the past decade, the trade faced fluctuations, reaching a peak of 365,515 head in 2015.


-      Countryman

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