I have a couple of friends who are involved with the live export of goats from Australia. the importance of goat export has been a very much forgotten element of the live export debate with the most concentration on cattle and sheep. Management of Goats and Buffalo is important for diversification of income for the producers and often utilisation of the animal has important environment protection elements.
A goat producer who supplies Live export has kindly supplied supplied some of the photos and some are my own.
- Goats are a part of many grazing operations in Western NSW and QLD
- Australia is the biggest exporter of goats both live and meat in the world yet we don’t make it into the top 10 goat producers in the world
- Approximately 98% of all goats produced in Australia are exported. Australia does not consume much goat meat. Mores the pity because it is delicious!
- Goats are used as an Invasive Native Species control weapon. This method is sustainable and uses no chemicals or bulldozers.
- Live export of goats is predominately done by airfreight
- Live export of goats provides market competition to the highly concentrated ownership of goat abattoirs in Eastern Australia
- Goats are ideally suited to the arid pastoral land of Western NSW and QLD
- Boer goats are being introduced to feral goat operations to create better carcass quality
- Currently Malaysia is the biggest market for goats, however the biggest opportunities are in China.
- Goats are browsers and do not rely on grass only for feed.
- Goats require large amounts of tannin, found in woody weeds, to digest their food.
- Goats live in families, it is common to see great grandmum, grandmum, mum and babies all running together.
- Male goats (bucks) will run together in groups until rutting/breeding time
- Horn length in goats is determined by genetics not age
- Wild dog control is imperative in a goat grazing operation.
- Feral pig control is imperative in a goat grazing operation
- Female goats (does) are excellent mothers
- Goats regularly have multiple births
- The majority of goats exported live or as meat is via Eastern Australia
Source – Livestock export review 2011 – Submission by Goat Industry council of Australia
An exert of a producers view in regards to the stopping of goat live exports