Mortality is currently the principal indicator of animal welfare used within the Australian livestock export industry. However, as this only measures extreme events, there is a need to identify additional indicators for sheep and cattle in pre-export depots and being transported by ship.
This project surveyed representatives of nine stakeholder groups - animal transport scientists, animal welfare representatives, pre-export assembly depot operators, exporters, government officials, ship owners, stockpersons, producers and veterinarians from the livestock export industry. They were asked to consider 18 potential welfare indicators, and the results will be used to effectively direct future research efforts.
This is the first of a two stage series of reports. Developing alternative methods of measuring animal welfare on ships - Stage 1Stage 2 monitored ammonia and other potentially noxious gases in a sheep assembly depot and on two sheep voyages, as well as monitoring behaviour in cattle and sheep exposed to different levels of ammonia.