In many cases, these countries don’t have the resources to produce sufficient livestock to feed their own population and as a result, they rely heavily on Australian livestock for their food security and, in some cases, social harmony.
The Australian livestock export industry contributes an average of $1 billion in export earnings annually to the Australian economy. The industry also employs approximately 13,000 people, mainly in regional and rural Australia and provides significant employment opportunities to indigenous people across northern Australia.
The importance of the live export industry to regional communities is amplified in northern and western Australia where livestock production has been transformed to meet the requirements of south-east Asian and Middle Eastern markets.
For many farmers in these areas, the industry is the only source of income and they supply the majority of live animals for export (approximately 75% of live sheep exports are from Western Australia and 80% of cattle are from northern Australia).