The Facts on Australia’s Live Sheep Export Industry | Livestock

The live sheep export industry is an important industry to Australia, providing a vital market for sheep producers to sell their livestock to and underpinning the domestic sheep farming industry.The majority of sheep are exported from the port of Fremantle in Western Australia, with almost three quarters of Australian sheep exported from this port in 2009. Over 50% of sheep from the sheep production industry in Western Australia are exported live overseas, making the industry especially important to the Western Australian economy. Other ports that export live sheep include Portland and Port Adelaide.Australian sheep are exported to countries across the Middle East, primarily Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE. In 2009 over 3.5 million sheep were exported to these countries, with Kuwait taking 950,000 head and and Bahrain taking 747,000 head of sheep respectively. The number of sheep exported in 2009 represented a drop of 15% on the previous year, with demand for the live export of sheep far outstripping supply in the Australian sheep production industry last year. This has resulted in calls for the sheep farming industry to rebuild sheep flocks in the coming years.In 2009 the live export of sheep contributed A$323 million to the Australian economy.Australia also has a live cattle export industry and a live goat export industry, primarily exporting to countries throughout South East Asia. Indonesia is the primary market for the live cattle export industry, and Malaysia is the primary market for the live goat export industry. The live cattle export industry contributed A$662 million to the Australian economy in 2009, and the live goat export industry contributed A$11.5 million.Australia is also involved in the meat export industry, exporting chilled and frozen beef, sheep and goat meat products to countries across the world in addition to exporting livestock. This is because there is demand for red meat products as well as livestock from overseas countries, and Meat and Livestock Australia invests in promoting all of these products to consumers overseas.This is why arguments that Australia could cease supplying live sheep exports and replace them with sheep meat exports are not realistic. The two trades are complementary, and it is not as simple as replacing one trade with the other as they serve the needs of different consumers in Middle Eastern markets.Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp invest heavily in improving the welfare of sheep, cattle and goats throughout the livestock export industry.This investment involves programs to improve the welfare of live sheep exports once they arrive in the Middle East. This includes employing a team of animal welfare experts that work with local veterinarians, stockmen, truck drivers, feedlot operators and port staff to improve how Australian sheep are cared for in the region.This team provides training courses to local workers, upgrades facilities and installs new equipment and infrastructure to improve the care of Australian sheep overseas.Highlights of this work in 2009 included the development of a sheep trolley, which assists local workers in the Middle East to move sheep humanely and efficiently. The trolleys have been distributed to each major importing country in the region and allow sheep to be comfortably wheeled from feedlots to processing facilities.It also included the installation of new port discharge facilities in Kuwait, which have ensured sheep are able to be unloaded in Shuwaikh Port safely and securely.This work has made a significant difference to the welfare of live sheep exports from Australia, and the live sheep export industry is committed to continuing to improve animal welfare in the countries we export to.

An Introduction To The Art Of Garden Design | gardening

This article is the first in a series that will explain the many facets of garden design and provide you with the knowledge required to plan a functional and aesthetically pleasing garden. In these articles you will find the necessary information required to undertake your own garden project from conception through to completion.Every garden benefits from good garden design. Whatever your expectations are, planning and design are essential. One of the first questions I ask a client (as a design consultant) is “what do you want from your garden?” The planning will focus on these needs and create a personalized garden that can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.To provide a definitive guide on garden design I would need to be writing a 500-page book, so we will only look at the absolute basics in this article. One thing I have learnt over the past twenty plus years as a garden designer is that few of us are totally content with our gardens. Despite the immense pleasure we derive from them, there is always something that could be better.Many long for a larger garden, a few for something smaller and more manageable, but the vast majority will make the best of their existing plots. Improving our garden spaces, coaxing the maximum impact from them is an enjoyable challenge that most avid green thumbs would rise to. The trick of course is knowing how!Gardening is essentially about growing plants, but the setting in which we place them is probably the single most important element that makes a garden appealing or otherwise. Personal tastes in garden styles vary as much as in other aspects of living, and what appeals to one person may not appeal to another. The true test of good garden design is whether the result appeals to you. As a garden designer I have always seen my role as a facilitator, aiming to assist my clients to create a garden that reflects their taste and personality.A good garden designer will open a magic box of inspiration and imagination. We show you what other enthusiastic gardeners have done, and how others have made the most of potentially insurmountable plot issues.Your own level of interest is the key factor to consider when making a decision to have your garden designed and constructed by professionals or taking on the project yourself. It will cost you a great deal of money and the chances are that it won’t give you as much satisfaction as having created a garden through your own efforts.Engaging a design consultant to explain the basic techniques and perhaps provide some inspirational ideas may be all you need to get the ball rolling. In the end only you can decide what is right for your garden. Tastes in gardens vary as much as in interior design and preferences for art or music. The true acid test of whether your new garden design has worked is only gauged by the pleasure that it gives you.Make use of a professional designer by allowing them to suggest ideas and explain the techniques they use. Have faith in your own ability to soak up their inspiration and experiment on paper. You will soon develop skills that will enable you to design your garden with confidence.The best gardens are carefully planned. The most important elements include:
Creating your wish-list
Surveying and measuring
Drawing your plans
Creating patterns
Choosing a formal or informal layout
Understanding garden styles and themes
Using shapes – both geometric and unusual
Overcoming gradients
Front versus back gardens
Creating Illusions
Preparing a planting schedule
Maintenance – high or low
Understanding these facets of landscape design will enable you to create a 3-dimensional image in your mind of the desired end result.In future articles I will look at some of these specific elements of sound garden design in more detail, and provide you with the information required to tackle a design project yourself. A little knowledge goes a long way and I have no doubt that you will surprise yourself by discovering exactly what you can achieve.As always… Happy gardening!


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