For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
The statistics on slaughtering and meat production for human consumption are based on a monthly collection from abattoirs and other major slaughtering establishments and include estimates of animals slaughtered by country butchers and other small slaughtering establishments. The data are collected on a state basis and then aggregated to derive Australian totals.
Data are mainly used to monitor the meat production levels by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics - Bureau of Rural Sciences (ABARE-BRS), state departments of primary industries, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Pork Limited, and other research and industry organisations. The data are also used as input to the calculation of the value of agricultural commodities produced and the Australian National Accounts.
Livestock slaughtering and meat produced are published five weeks after the reference period in the monthly Livestock and Meat, Australia (cat. no. 7218.0.55.001) and six weeks after the reference period in the quarterly Livestock Products, Australia (cat. no. 7215.0).
As a result of the Intensive Follow Up (IFU) process, data are revised each month as final estimates become available. Most respondents are able to report all the data requested directly from company records, but in some cases not all information is available, so estimates are provided. For example, some small abattoirs do not record the weight of the individual animals. An estimate of the amount of meat produced is derived by multiplying the number of animals slaughtered by an average weight provided or by a predetermined average. As some smaller abattoirs provide aggregate data only, e.g. for cattle slaughtering, an estimate is required to split the data between the appropriate categories.
A minimum response rate of at least 96% is generally achieved for the monthly livestock slaughtering collection.
Most data are directly comparable over different collection cycles.
From July 1997 onwards, the category of Bulls, bullocks and steers was separated into two separate categories of Bulls and Bullocks and Steers. This finer breakdown of Bulls, bullocks and steers was implemented to provide more accurate disposal prices for the cattle item, particularly for breeding stock.
From September 2004, the categories Baconers, Porkers, and Other Pigs were expanded to include a separate category for Breeding sows. The additional category was added at the request of the industry body, Australian Pork Limited.
From July 2010, a decision was made to exclude on-farm slaughter from estimates of livestock slaughter and meat production. This decision was made in consultation with key users and reflected concerns around current and future capacity to reliably estimate on-farm slaughtering. In addition, revised definitions, aligned to current industry standards, were adopted for the categories Calves, Baconers and Porkers. Re-based historical estimates to July 2007 for all series were published in the July 2010 issue of Livestock and Meat, Australia (cat. no.7218.0.55.001).
The survey provides a broad range of up-to-date data about the processing of livestock and production of meat in Australia through a suite of standard products or as data customised for individual requirements. Detailed explanatory notes are provided each quarter in Livestock Products, Australia (cat. no. 7215.0) to assist users in determining and specifying their data requirements and to understand the concepts underlying the data.
Statistics are provided in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms. The trend series smooths out the volatility in the data including removing seasonal effects (such as the number of trading days and moving holidays), and is therefore considered the best indicator of underlying movements. The seasonally adjusted series removes the seasonal effects but does not smooth out the volatility in the data. The original series neither removes the seasonal effects nor smooths out the volatility in the data. To find out more information on seasonal adjustment and trend estimator please see Timeseries Analysis Frequently Asked Questions.
An extensive range of data are available from the monthly livestock collection.
If the information you require is not available as a standard product or service, then ABS Consultancy Services can help you with customised services to suit your needs. Inquiries should be made to either the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Agriculture Client Services on (03) 6222 5939.