NSW Meat Industry Milestones

General Quotes and Information

  • Neville Newton – 50 years working in abattoirs, managing Blayney, now Goulburn1.

“There are far too many processing abattoirs out there and not enough animals to slaughter”1

“Industry plight has been caused by record low numbers of livestock”1

“We’ve had a drought for a long period of time”1

“In fact, the only time I’ve ever seen it a bit like this was in the late 70’s and early 80’s with beef, there were large herd numbers and there was a very big cow and heifer kill and then all of a sudden they just ran out of numbers, At that time there were a lot of corrections in who owned bee processing plants in Australia”1

  • Central west NSW used to have 11 abattoirs, now it has 4. Cowra, Dubbo, Goulburn & Oberon. Currently 29 licensed red meat abattoirs in NSW, down 30% decade ago. (Dated 16.02.2010)1
  • Atleast 6 red meat abattoirs in Central NSW shut since 2003 (Dated 16.02.2010)1


Timeline Information

1987

  • Aus-Meat registered abattoirs in NSW – Not necessarily all abattoirs as it wasn’t mandatory to register with Aus-meat.
    • 16 – Export acrredited abattoirs2
    • 8 Domestic abattoirs2
    • 16 Boning facilities.2

1995

  • Federal and State governments agree on mandatory code for processing red meat in export and domestic abattoirs and meat processing plants.
  • Federal had been pushing for compulsory code of conduct for meat inspectors in all states.
    • Under existing arrangements a national code of conduct of inspection was in force but was applied voluntarily by the states
  • “Australia has the most rigorous hygiene standards in the world, but there was a pressing need to continually update the codes of conduct in the industry” Senator Collins.
  • Community and Public sector union alleged that cartons of meat with pesticide levels 12 times above allowable limit were sold on domestic markets. Also said it had details of meat subsitution rejected from export sold into domestic.
    • Union declined to substantiate allegations at special senate hearing in Canberra

1996

  • USDA reviewd Australian export abattoirs and found 14 of them unacceptable or marginally acceptable. Australian quarantine services conducted its own review and found all but 1 up to USDA standards5
    • Unacceptable abattoirs in NSW named6
      • NSW – Southern Country Foods – Wagga Wagga6
      • Rockdale Beef – Yanco6
    • Marginal abattoirs in NSW named6
      • Wingham abattoir – Wingham6
      • RG Gilbertson – Grafton6
      • Cargill Australia – Wagga Wagga6
  • We have too many abattoirs to be economic, as a consequence corners get cut. We are the biggest exporter of beef to the world so it is vital we drive a massive rationalisation of the industry or we will be cut out” – John Carter, 10 years head of NSW Meat Industry Authority.6
  • AQIS did suspend 2 abattoirs after its own inspection found deficencies not picked up by USDA5
  • Australia’s beef export trade worth $1B5
  • Method of operation that is in question not the meat being produced is contaminated or off8
  • Europe blacklist in 6 meat exporters – citing animal welfare breaches and technical faults7
    • Europe $85M market7
    • Europe told AQIS – killing procedures in some inhumane, Stun guns were inadequate in 1 abattoir7
    • 6 of the 11 abattoirs inspected banned from exporting to Europe7
    • Australian Meat Council – animal welfare standards depended on which side of scientific  debate one listened to7
      • “what is a breach and isn’t is widely disputed both on rational and irrational grounds” Christopher Creal. Aust Meat Council.7
      • “Europe had enormous problems with trade in unsafe meat. There is a blackmarket trade in meat grown in some pretty nasty hormonal promotants, and vets have been murdered for trying to clean up chemical regulation”Christopher Creal. Aust Meat Council.7
  • “Far too many abattoirs operate with low-level expertise and management, They must be upgraded or they should be closed”. John Carter. Former head of NSW meat Industry Authority9

1998

  • Waterfront Industrial dispute – 1,800 process workers stood down.4
    • boycott of NFF and supermarkets and against the unloading of Australian products4
    • Abattoirs were unable to obtain empty containers for shipping requirements4

2013

  • Aus-Meat Accredited
    • 16 Export accredited abattoirs3
    • 0 Domestic abattoirs3
    • 10 Boning facilities3

Sources

  1. ‘Abattoir industry in disastrous state’ ABC Rural 16.02.10
  2. ‘Aus Meat Accreditation Listing November 1987 – private email, Ausmeat. 16.01.13
  3. ‘Aus-Meat accreditation Listing – current at 14.01.2013
  4. ‘1,800 Meat workers stood down’ Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). 20.04.1998. www.abattoirs.com.au
  5. ‘Threat to beef export trade’ SMH 08.02.1996.www.abattoirs.com.au
  6. ‘US names abattoirs producing bad beef’ SMH 24.01.1996.www.abattoirs.com.au
  7. ‘Europe blacklists six abattoirs’ SMH 23.01.1996. www.abattoirs.com.au
  8. ‘Meat Exporters have bone to pick with us’ SMH 19.01.1996. www.abattoirs.com.au
  9. ‘US threat puts $1B beef trade at risk’ SMH 18.01.1996. www.abattoirs.com.au

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