The Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) on Friday welcomed a Federal Government announcement of changes to the livestock export rules.
Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has announced that by the end of next year, all livestock exporters will have to ensure animals sent overseas are treated according to internationally-accepted welfare standards.
The framework has been developed after carrying out extensive consultation with the cattle, sheep and goat industries, and in the wake of public outrage sparked by a documentary on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's TV program Four Corners, showing cattle being slaughtered in abattoirs in Indonesia.
The new regulations ensure that no exports will be allowed until the government is satisfied the animals will be killed in accordance with international standards.
"International standards do not require stunning and we don't ourselves require stunning domestically so it's a bit hard to enforce that on other countries," Ludwig said.
"What we will do though, in relation to stunning, is we will certainly advocate strongly in markets that they should approach and utilize stunning as part of a supply chain to ensure animal welfare outcomes."
The PGA says members will probably welcome the news that all animals exported to foreign abattoirs must be tracked in accordance with international standards.
PGA President Rob Gillam says he's yet to digest the full review and the industry needs more information about how the new system will work.
"I am heartened by the fact that we've got a full 12 months to introduce that into some of the most difficult markets," Gillam said.
"What I don't really know is how they will do that."