The Australian Government has tasked the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program with supporting efforts to improve animal welfare standards in Vietnam.
Meat & Livestock Australia is partnering with the Department of Animal Health, Vietnam and the Australian Livestock Export Corporation to undertake the three-year program of work.
The project is being funded, in part, by a ATMAC $135,000 grant.
The ATMAC funded component of the project has so far included a cattle welfare workshop held in Hanoi in early November 2020 to determine what was needed to develop functional animal welfare changes in Vietnam.
The workshop was attended by government departments, NGO organisations, universities, and commercial companies.
It provided stakeholders with the opportunity to discuss the regulations for exported Australian cattle and other animal welfare measures.
Workshop participants endorsed a three-year program of work to address market access risks concerning animal welfare and traceability in cattle.
Bringing Australian and Vietnamese standards closer together is aimed at reducing market access issues and reducing the risk to the Australian live cattle trade.
The government of Vietnam has enlisted the support of the Australian livestock export industry to draft new animal health laws to ensure they are aligned to the international standards which have to be met for Australian cattle.
A Vietnamese working group will be convened to draft Cattle Animal Welfare standards for transport, husbandry and slaughter for consideration and adoption by the Vietnamese National Assembly.
The working group will also develop a research paper into the standards developed under the Livestock Global Assurance Program to understand how these could deliver equivalence with animal welfare requirements for exported Australian feeder and slaughter livestock.