Meat & Livestock News

Vietnam Introduces New Animal Welfare Standards, Aligning with Australian Practices, Boosting Live Export Industry

This week, Vietnam announced national animal welfare standards, aligning with those applied to imported Australian-bred cattle, at the Australia-Vietnam Beef Cattle Symposium held in Hanoi from 13 to 15 November 2023.

The symposium includes notable attendees such as the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Andrew Goledzinowski, officials from both Vietnamese and Australian governments, and representatives from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC), and LiveCorp.

Vietnam, over the past decade, has emerged as a key player in the live export industry, importing almost two million head of cattle from Australia, making it Australia’s second-largest market for beef cattle.

The introduction of these new welfare standards has been well-received by industry leaders, including LiveCorp CEO Wayne Collier, who commended Vietnam’s commitment to animal welfare.

This advancement is seen as a result of long-standing efforts by exporters to establish strong relationships in the market, investing in training, and improving supply chain practices.

Australia’s unique position as the only live animal exporter with industry-mandated welfare standards in destination countries aligns well with Vietnam’s new regulations, aiming to ensure high welfare for both local and imported cattle.

The development of these standards, led by Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development over three years, involved consultation with government officials and industry stakeholders. The goal was to create standards that are both effective and practical for adoption.

To support these new standards, information campaigns and training resources for the Vietnamese cattle and beef industry have been developed. Australian assistance has played a crucial role through the Livestock Export Program (LEP), a joint initiative of LiveCorp and MLA.

This program focuses on professional development and training for workers in feedlots and abattoirs and is partially funded by a $135,000 grant from the Australian Government.

Spencer Whitaker, MLA’s Market Development Manager – Asia Pacific, highlighted that the new standards mark a significant progression in Vietnam’s cattle industry, which has seen considerable growth and modernisation since it began importing Australian cattle.

The awareness and emphasis on animal welfare have increased, and the collaboration between the Australian industry and the Vietnamese Government has been pivotal in this development.