The livestock export industry, government and community all agree on the need to measure animal welfare on board livestock ships, rather than the current practice of counting how many animals make it to their destination alive.
Significant research has been done by the industry on the development of scientifically valid, objective animal welfare indicators, but setting a scale on what is considered ‘acceptable’ welfare is fundamentally a value-based judgement.
This project will bring together a skills-based working group to refine the list of animal welfare indicators and develop a framework for data collection, including ways to meet regulatory requirements which came into effect in November 2020.
The primary objectives of this project are to:
Assemble a team of animal welfare and statistical experts to determine a practical set of indicators to measure animal welfare on board livestock ships.
Develop procedures for how and when data will be collected by livestock handlers and vets to ensure consistency.
Building a database of animal welfare measures on livestock export ships will provide the industry with information to benchmark and continually improve its performance.
The data will also allow researchers to refine recording systems and welfare thresholds, to help identify what levels are considered acceptable or unacceptable for each indicator.