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The Live Export Process

Stock selection

Upon receipt of regulatory permission for each individual voyage, Wellard buyers begin sourcing quality livestock from two weeks up to one year in advance.

Our network of professional buyers work with farmers to ensure quality animals are selected to meet our customers’ requirements and the health protocols of the importing country.

The stock are then transported to aggregation points for pre-shipment quarantine.

The consignment is aggregated at either a Wellard feedlot, or a third party depot, at least one week prior to loading, where the condition of the animals is monitored to ensure they will thrive on the voyage.

Wellard is continually searching for stock to service its overseas orders. Contact one of our professional beef cattle, dairy cattle and sheep buyers today to discuss.

Export preparation

At the feedlot the stock are inducted and cared for by professional stockmen. Prior to loading livestock are inspected by both an accredited third party veterinarian as well as a veterinarian from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, who must issue a “permit to leave for loading” before the consignment can be moved to the dock.

Wellard trucks, as well as high quality contractors, then begin transporting the animals to the ship.

Regulatory requirements

Wellard has been proactive in developing improvements in the safe handling and management of livestock, setting the industry standard.

For livestock exports from Australia, there is a stringent process with which all exporting companies must comply.

1.  Notice of intent to export Government approval of export destination and suitability of animals and contingency planning .

2.  Approved load plan and heat stress model

Compliance with regulated pen stocking density limits.

Assessment of suitability of stock, stocking density and deck by deck ventilation with prevailing weather conditions throughout the individual voyage.
3. National Vendor Declarations Submitted by vendors. Details health status, stock description and animal health treatments.
4. Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service inspection of vessel Ensure no risk of disease incursion into Australia. Every vessel required to undergo inspection upon arrival in Australia.
5. Australian Maritime Safety Authority inspection of vessel Ensure the vessel and its livestock support services are mechanically sound and fit for purpose.
6. Pre-export aggregation facility licence Each pre-export facility must be licensed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service as adhering to the standards set out by the Australian Government.
7. Livestock inspection by accredited third party veterinarian at pre-export aggregation facility Flock/herd assessment of animal health and suitability for export.
8. Livestock inspection by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service veterinarian at pre-export aggregation facility Flock/herd assessment of animal health and suitability for export. Permission to leave for loading granted upon satisfactory inspection.
9. Individual animal inspection by accredited stock inspector Conducted at feedlot or wharf. Animals are inspected individually for sickness, injury and suitability for export.
10. Export approval Issued by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service upon inspection of consignment and satisfaction that import permits have been granted and sufficient feed, water and ventilation are available to the livestock.
11. Accredited stockman on-board Each voyage is accompanied by at least one, and often several, stockmen and stock women who have been accredited to oversee the animal welfare of the livestock consignment throughout the voyage.
12. Accredited third party veterinarian on-board For long haul voyages only. Required for added level of animal care and welfare.

Wellard meets all Australian Government requirements and regulations at every stage of the export process.

Wellard has made a significant investment in the long-term future of the livestock export trade. As a class leader in its field, Wellard brings a unique combination of experience, innovation and efficiency to the industry.

As a registered livestock exporter, Wellard Rural Exports is required to undergo regular Quarantine and Inspection Service audits in addition to the regulatory monitoring of each individual consignment.

The audits test company procedures and documentation to ensure we meet Australian Government requirements.

Vessel loading

At the wharf each animal is inspected by a government accredited team of independent inspectors before they are loaded on the vessel. Finally an AQIS veterinarian, after viewing the animals, the company’s loading plan and the company’s risk management plan, clears the vessel to depart.


Wellard’s shipping fleet is the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.

On board Wellard Ships’ livestock vessels animal wellbeing and safety is assured through vessel design and use of state-of-the-art monitoring technology.

Automated feed and watering systems, ventilation control and spacious enclosures ensure Wellard livestock are shipped to the highest standards in animal care and safety.

The specialised range of feeds produced at Wellard Feeds are used on Wellard’s ships to ensure livestock are kept in optimum condition before reaching the marketplace.

Ventilation is vital to the health and welfare of sheep and cattle on board. Monitoring of ventilation systems is constant, and the output of the ventilation systems outpaces the industry standard.

Ventilation on-board Wellard Ships vessels is three times greater than both the Australian industry standard for livestock vessels and commercial passenger aircraft and cruise liners.

Wellard's vessels outperform the industry success benchmark to ensure our stock arrive fit and healthy at their final destination.

Wellard's courage to innovate prompted it to commission the construction of the first livestock carriers with dual, independent propulsion systems – offering unparalleled safety for the ship, its cargo and its crew.

The health of all consignments is overseen by an accredited veterinarian and/or stockman.


Sheep and cattle destined for the Middle East are accompanied by a third party veterinarian as well as up to five company stockmen. The stockmen are independently accredited and complement the livestock husbandry skills of the ship’s crew.

Cattle consigned on sort voyages to Asia are monitored by a number of independent, accredited stockmen.


Client satisfaction

Wellard leads the market in the field of live animal exports and boasts the highest standards in quality control, animal handling, hygiene and most importantly, animal welfare.

Our company is firmly committed to a sustainable livestock export industry.