Live Exports: Perspectives from the community.

The Australian livestock export industry’s research body, Livecorp, recently commissioned research to gain much-needed insights into community viewpoints on live exports.

The intention was to understand how Australians feel about different aspects of the industry – from farm to destination country – enabling a better conversation between the industry and community around topics such as animal welfare. 

The results were revealing; showing that people do recognise the importance of livestock exports to our farmers, the Australian economy and communities overseas.

It was interesting to see a lot of ‘neutral’ answers to the survey, which suggests there are aspects of live exports that a lot Australians don’t know much about. This highlights the need to do better at explaining how the industry works and how it is continually improving animal welfare, to help fill those information gaps”. Sam Brown Livecorp CEO

This project uses a social insights framework, and will survey around 5,000 Australians annually to assess community sentiment toward the livestock export industry, for three years.

Let’s take a look at the findings from Year 1. 

72% of Australians agreed that the live export industry makes an important economic contribution to Australia, and 69% agree that it is an important part of the Australian agricultural sector. 

67% agree that without the live export industry many Australian livestock producing areas would suffer economic hardship

39% of community members indicated that the live export industry ‘bothers me a lot’, while 34% disagreed with this sentiment.

31% of participants indicated they had higher levels of trust in the industry and 33% indicated lower trust in the industry (on a scale of 1-5). 

36% of Australians surveyed agreed that the industry was willing to change based on community concerns, while 34% disagreed.

67% of Australians surveyed felt that animals are treated better in Australian domestic meat production processes than they are in overseas markets.

61% agree that live exports help overseas countries ensure their citizens have access to safe sources of meat. 

So, what can we conclude? 

It seems Australians understand the benefit of live exports for people overseas in terms of nutrition, but appropriately caring for animals is viewed as a fundamentally important part of this process. 

Community attitude research shows a large section of Australians either doesn’t have strong views one way or another on the livestock export industry or has gaps in its knowledge. 

The findings from the scientifically-designed study are in stark contrast to much-touted polls and claims by agenda groups, that the vast majority of Australians want the trade banned. 

What the results highlight is the opportunity to help people understand the trade and allow them to make informed judgments, and this is backed by the data science company that conducted the research, Voconiq.

To delve even deeper, read the media statement here. And more information on the research here