On October 21, 150 live cattle were flown from Australia to China for slaughter on a Boeing 747 cargo plane.
Crates containing the animals were placed on the plane’s cargo deck in Melbourne and delivered to the inland city of Chongqing, where the Chinese authorities found them all to be healthy.
Australia’s export to China comes three months after a free-trade agreement between the two nations. Breeding cattle have been air-freighted from Australia to China before, but this is the first shipment of cattle destined for the abattoir.
Cameron Hall from Elders Ltd., the Adelaide based company behind the import, points out that “If you’re sending them in by sea, then that limits you very much to the coastal areas.”
Regulations require imported live animals to be slaughtered within 90 kilometres of their point of entry to China, which has thus far restricted access to the interior.
The weight of the cattle’s meal and drink before take-off was limited to reduce cargo load, and any waste from the cows fell onto absorbent matting which was later discarded.
Image caption: Cattle cross the road in Queensland, Australia
Image credit: Marc Dalmulder / Flickr