From farm fields to kitchen table shipping industry plays an important role in food supply chain. Livestock transportation requires knowledge, experience and skill to get best quality of meat and meat products from the producer to store shelves. Livestock export/import Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep and cattle. In 2012, 2.44 million sheep were exported to different countries in Asia and the Middle East from Australia according to Australia’s governmental authority.
New Zealand is also another major livestock exporter. They export cattle, sheep, horses, deer, and goat mainly for breeding purposes all over the world. Egypt, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Russia are new markets for livestock exporting countries. The local governments encourage importation of livestock to support the economy. This is a good opportunity for livestock exporting countries such as New Zealand, Uruguay, Australia and the United states. With increasing international demand, producers all across the United States and other exporting countries have the opportunity to participate in such profitable market. Livestock transportation Livestock are transported for many reasons such as sale, auction, breeding, shows, rodeos, fairs, and slaughter. Since human population continues to grow the necessity for food will always be there. Thus, livestock transportation is an integral part of food supply all over the world. How to ship livestock There are many alternative livestock transportation solutions such as air, ocean, rail and truck. The transportation method is usually determined by the type of livestock. Transportation of livestock from farms to final destinations is not an easy task, as it sounds. Think of your own pet how hard it is to transport it from point A to point B, then think about transporting thousands of cattle, and sheep on a cargo vessel or a cargo aircraft from New Zealand to Kazakhstan. There are many required permits, documentation, regulations and loading of livestock. It requires knowledge, expertise, and experience. The way livestock is transported affects the quality of the meat and meat product. It is known that stress, environment during the transportation plays a key factor on quality, flavor and color of meat directly. Livestock need to be loaded on to vessel slowly and quietly to avoid stress and injury. Also heat and humidity could be huge problem during transportation. For example, one of the worst live stock shipping tragedies happened on board of a Brazilian ship headed to Egypt. Due to problems with ventilation and food systems caused half of the cattle on board to suffer and die. To sum up above mentioned points are very important for quality meat and meat products. All steps must be well evaluated and carefully implemented.