Of the more than 100 countries exporting sheep, Australia is the only country regulating international animal welfare standards from the farm to the point of processing in overseas markets. The industry is positively influencing the actions of other countries by its presence in the market place and investment in training and infrastructure.
Boxed meat is not a substitute for live sheep – the supply of sheep and chilled or frozen meat often caters to distinct markets that are not interchangeable. Australian sheep are in demand due to logistical difficulties in delivering and storing meat (in some markets), cultural/religious preferences, and price. There is still strong demand from the Middle East for live Australian animals and when we can’t meet this demand, it is not filled by Australian boxed meat but by live animals from Sudan, Somalia, Eastern Europe, and Asia – countries that do not share Australia’s commitment to animal welfare.