CATTLE WELFARE: ACH Founder Alisdair Robertson.
CATTLE WELFARE: ACH Founder Alisdair Robertson.

CQ man releases welfare-focused beef cattle standards

A MAN educated in Baralaba introduced a welfare standard for beef cattle that he says is the only standard “developed by an Australian for Australian conditions”.

Alisdair Robertson launched third-party auditing business Australian Certified Humane in 2016 to help farmers meet consumer demand for more ethical animal treatment. Last month he released the first version of the company’s beef cattle rules and standards.

“Up until now,” he said, “the beef industry had no mandatory rules for using painkiller pain relief while dehorning and castrating.

“My thoughts were that at the retail face, consumers demanded to know more about the wholesomeness and humaneness of the product they were consuming.”

“I’ve also implemented mandatory rules for moving away from horned cattle so there’ll be no dehorning.”

Mr Robertson trained as a butcher in Baralaba and owned butchers and restaurants in Brisbane. He now lives in Emerald.

He said Queensland is one of the few places in the world that can support grass-fed cattle year-round.

“Queensland, because of its proximity to the north and the monsoon, carries a large body of grass and therefore carries a big body of feed,” he said.

“Cattle can put on weight and get fat and go to market through the winter time.”

The Australian Certified Humane standards aims to “recognise those producers who take pride in the article they produce to the highest standards of quality while implementing humane and empathetic husbandry practices for their stock and practising sound environmental management of the land they farm on.”

“We’re driving to be an internationally recognised intergenerational standard,” Mr Robertson said.

Andrew Little, Livestock Integrity Solutions founder and Australian Certified Human auditor, said the standard was especially relevant to the Australian industry.

“It’s a step above the basis of the Australian standard,” he said. “It’s a natural progression driven by the consumer that will be the expectation over the next 10 to 15 years.”

Those interested may email Mr Robertson at alisdair@auscertifiedhumane.com to view the standard.