Animal Welfare Improvements In The Live Sheep Trade And Live Cattle Trade | Livestock

Australia’s live sheep export and live cattle export industries work with the Australian Government to improve the welfare of Australian livestock in key live sheep export and live cattle export markets across south east Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.Livestock producers and exporters involved in exporting live sheep and live cattle from Australia spend over $4 million a year to improve the welfare and management of Australian live cattle and live sheep exported overseas, with the Australian Government investing a further $550,000 in 2010-11 through the Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership.This funding goes towards infrastructure improvements, training and education, with a particular priority on making advancements for Australian livestock in Indonesia and across the Middle East and North Africa.In 2009-10 significant improvements were made in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Indonesia.

As the largest market for Australian livestock in the Middle East, Kuwait was a major focus, with three of its major processing facilities revolutionised. This has made major welfare improvements for Australian sheep exported to Kuwait through the live sheep trade.New custom-made yards, races, ramps and processing tables were constructed and installed at the facilities and staff were trained on how to handle Australian sheep. The changes have been embraced by the operators of the facilities who can see that by improving animal handling and welfare they also improve their processing efficiency.New processing equipment, including equipment that safely and humanely restrains livestock prior to processing, has also been installed in Bahrain, Qatar and Indonesia. Staff also received training, which has made significant changes for Australian livestock in these markets.A project is also underway in Bahrain to evaluate and develop best practice management strategies for the feed, water and pen space requirements of Australian sheep exported to Middle Eastern feedlots. The project will measure the welfare impacts of different stocking density and trough space variations on Australian sheep in Middle East conditions.Scientific literature is scarce in relation to these welfare parameters, with no quantified relationship between pen design and performance and current guidelines varying widely. The study will be completed in 2011, with a set of recommendations developed for pen densities based on seasonal variation and the availability of suitable amounts of feed and water trough space.Cattle management training schools have also been held in Indonesia for local farmers to equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to manage Australian cattle in their local villages.

Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp have recently run training schools at a cattle breeding centre in Lampung for local farmers who live in the surrounding area. The training has focused on animal health, housing and livestock management, and will ensure that local farmers are able to properly care for the cattle they purchase from the local feedlot.Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp also provide training on breeding, nutrition and animal management for Indonesian feedlots and breeding enterprises.The live export of sheep and cattle continues to be very important to Australia and the continued investment in improving animal welfare throughout the industry is equally important to the future of the industry in Australia.

Anatolian Sheepdog Helping to Save Endangered Cheetah | Livestock

In less than a hundred years the cheetah population dwindled from 100,000 to just 7,500 worldwide. In Southern Africa less than 1,000 roam free and the fastest land animal is locked in a battle to survive against ever increasing odds. While roaming free, mainly in Namibia, they often make contact with farmers livestock and when hungry it will help itself to an easy meal of mainly sheep or goat. The farmer then hunts down the cheetah and kills it. It is this practice which directly led to the steady decline of the cheetah.A solution to the problem between cheetahs and livestock came about when the Anatolian sheepdog was introduced into the pens of the livestock. This plan works exceedingly well when young dogs or pups from the age of 6-8 weeks are raised with the herd. Anatolian Sheepdogs naturally bond with the sheep or goats they are kept with. These dogs stay with the herd and are quiet, calm and confident and alert to any changes in herd behaviour and the surroundings.

The Cheetah Outreach aims to protect the Cheetah in the wild and to further this aim the Outreach program has started to train young Anatolian Sheepdogs and then place them with farmers whose livestock is threatened by wild animals such as the cheetah. After bonding with the farmer’s livestock the dog takes over the guarding of the flocks. The dog will either scare off the would be intruder or kill it. This is a win situation for both the cheetah and the farmer. If the cheetah were to kill any livestock it would usually be hunted and killed by the farmer. But now the cheetah is scared off by dog and the farmer suffers no stock loss with the result that the cheetah lives. Although the cheetah is considered dangerous it will think twice before tackling these tall, rugged and powerful looking dogs.The Anatolian Sheepdog was bred primarily to protect livestock from predators mainly bears and wolves. In the barren, parched Anatolian Plateau region of Turkey an area of hot summers, cold winters and little rain these dogs fiercely guarded owners livestock for over 6,000 years. These dogs are bred to withstand the rugged terrain and can survive on minimal food and water when required. The physically imposing males can reach up to 75cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 65kg and can reach a top speed of 75kmph. Medium-length coats and coarse light-coloured hair provides effective cooling down of the body as well as maintaining good insulation for the cold winters. The Anatolian Sheepdog has uncanny ability in protecting livestock and this not only arises from their physical attributes-body proportion, keen eyesight, finely tuned hearing ability and excellent sense of smell-but also their inbred loyalty and fierce possessiveness and protective instinct towards their surroundings and family.

Any intruder that threatens the herd is aggressively confronted by these dogs who are not dependent on there owners for direction as they are more than capable of making decisions on their own.