Australia is a proud agricultural exporting nation, with a long history of providing food and fibre to the world. Today more than half the meat we produce is exported overseas, and consumers across the world have confidence in it, knowing it’s safe, free of disease and high in quality.In the past 30 years exporting livestock overseas has become increasingly important as a way for Australian meat to get to overseas consumers. Today the export of livestock has grown into a sustainable Australian industry that makes up a significant proportion of Australia’s agricultural exports and makes a major contribution to the economy and social fabric of the nation.Thousands of farming families and their communities are heavily reliant on the livestock export industry for their livelihoods. The industry employs 13,000 people across Australia, with 11,000 of those people living in rural and regional areas. This figure is not just made up of livestock producers and livestock exporters; it’s also made of veterinarians, stock agents, truck drivers, and many more people that are employed by the trade.The Australian live export trade contributes $1.8 billion in Gross Domestic Product nationally, and underpins the entire economies of some regional areas.The live export industry is also important because it ensures that Australian livestock producers have a range of markets to sell their animals to, making sure they get a good price for the animals they work hard to produce. The industry is also crucial in providing a market for those in remote areas without access to abattoirs. This is particularly important for cattle producers in the northern regions of Australia.It is for this reason that any restriction of Australia’s involvement in international livestock exports would have a devastating effect on the thousands of people the industry employs.The livestock exported from Australia also play a key role in ensuring the food security of the countries we export to across the Middle East and Asia. Australia exports sheep and cattle to the Middle East, and cattle and goats to countries across South East Asia.By exporting animals overseas, Australian livestock exporters and producers fulfill a major need for essential red meat in the countries we export to, as they supply livestock exports to nations that can’t produce enough livestock to meet the demand of their populations.Australia also exports livestock to nations that lack the infrastructure and money to solely import frozen and chilled meat products. Often, Australian meat is a premium higher value product in those markets, selling through Western-style supermarkets and in the food service sector. Whereas meat from live exported Australian animals is affordable to more of the population, helping to satisfy their dietary needs.In some cases, the need for live animals is also cultural, with traditional or religious practices requiring live animals as part of important feasts.To find out more about the importance of the livestock export industry to both Australia and to the world, you can watch this industry information video.
A lot of people are beginning to see the advantages of owning a livestock farm. They are moving from urban areas to the country side to start their own farm. Livestock farming is very rewarding because you can provide food for your family and make some money as well from the livestock products.But when starting out as a livestock farmer there is a lot to learn about raising livestock. Some livestock require more care and management then others. Two types of livestock that require less care and are beginner friendly are chickens and goats. Below we are going to cover in more detail how you can go about raising these animals.Goats:Before you buy your goats you should ask yourself what kind of goats do I want to raise. There are meat goats, milk goats and pet goats. For milk production its best to choose Alpine and Saanen goats. For meat look no further then the South African Boer goats, and goats that are suitable to being pets are Miniature or Nigerian Dwarf goats.Once you have chosen the type of goat you want to raise the next thing is to make sure you have enough land to build your goats some shelter and for them to graze. Goats like feeding on pasture so you should provide that for them in order for them to be healthy and produce quality products.The goat shelter can be a small shed or barn. The shelter will be their home where they will sleep and be sheltered from extensive heat. The shelter should be kept clean and draft-free. If the shelter is cleaned it will help in decreasing the spread of bacteria that causes diseases.Chickens:More and more people are starting to raise chickens in their farm yards. When starting out in raising chickens just like raising goats you have to choose your breed. Do you want to raise chickens for eggs or raise chickens for meat?Once you have made your decision on what type of chickens you want to raise the next step is to build a chicken coop. Some farmers even use chicken tractors and livestock barns, but neither way chickens need a place to call home. A chicken coop is where your chickens will sleep, lay their eggs and get protection from heat and predators.When the chickens arrive in your farm the first thing they will want to do is eat. So make sure you have chicken feed available for them. Chicken feed differs according to the age of the chicken. If you are going to buy chicks then growing mash is required and if you are going to buy laying chickens then laying mash is required.