The meat we eat could taste better if livestock is treated better during transportation.

That’s the message from a symposium held in Brisbane today to mark World Farm Animal Day.

Caitlin Adams reports.

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It’s not often that Australians consider how their meat gets from here to the dinner plate.

At the RSPCA Symposium today, industry experts and livestock handlers were told that if the livestock’s not treated right then it won’t produce a high quality of meat.

Dr Andrew Fisher, Associate professor University of Melbourne: “It’s really well known particularly with beef and also with sheep meat that if the animals are transported in a way that causes them stress the meat is actually a lot tougher.”

Scientists say that a lack of food and drinking water during transport can be a large contributor to lower standards of meat.

Dr Drewe Ferguson, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Livestock Industries: “Typically for cattle and sheep if it’s in excess of 24 hours you might start to see reductions in carcus weight and some meat quality aspects.”

At the moment, those responsible for poor treatment of livestock in transit only receive a warning and then coaching on how to better care for animals.

It’s only recently that Queensland has enforced welfare standards for livestock transportation. Industry experts hope standards will soon be enforced nationally.

Dr Andrew Fisher, Associate professor University of Melbourne: “That will still take another year or two across Australia to make sure the regulations are put in place.”

As new standards are enforced it’s hoped Australians can expect a better quality of food from livestock.

Caitlin Adams, QUT News.