Middle East

The 17 countries buying our live animal exports, ranked

Agribusiness Elders has more than tripled its half year profit thanks to higher livestock prices. (AAP)

Figures obtained by SBS from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources show that Vietnam is one of Australia's largest cattle export markets, taking over 300,000 live cattle from Australia last year.

This week, the ABC released footage from undercover investigators hired by Animals Australia which purports to show workers in Vietnamese abattoirs bashing Australian cattle to death with sledgehammers.

The graphic footage has sparked a new round of controversy over the ethics of Australia's live animal export trade, which reaps almost two billion dollars for exporters but relinquishes control for animal welfare once animals leave Australian shores. 

Exports to three abattoirs in Vietnam have been suspended since the footage was released.

Figures obtained by SBS from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources show that the southeast Asian nation is one of Australia's largest cattle export markets, taking over 300,000 live cattle from Australia last year.

Australia's live export industry is split between cattle exported for meat, cattle exported for breeding, and sheep. The largest market for exports is Indonesia, which buys almost three quarters of a million live cattle each year.

Australia's Asian neighbor is followed by four Middle Eastern countries - Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - all of which import hundreds of thousands of Australian live sheep. 

Australia exports live animals at least 17 countries, with government statistics showing roughly 100,000 live sheep as exported to 'other' countries in the Middle East. The department says those countries may include Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Figures show that live exports are worth $1.8 billion to Australian exporters, accounting for almost 14 per cent meat export revenue.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch