Livestock Slaughtered Survey

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Purpose of the survey

The Livestock Slaughtered Survey is conducted every quarter with businesses throughout Australia. This survey collects information on the total number of livestock slaughtered and the amount and value of meat produced, by category of livestock. Data from this survey contributes to the quarterly publication Livestock Products, Australia.

Your participation in this survey provides us with data that is essential for calculating Australia’s livestock slaughtered activity, which enable Australia's agriculture industry, businesses, governments and researchers to make informed decisions.

Thank you for your participation. We acknowledge and value your time and effort participating in this survey. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce these statistics that inform important decisions affecting Australia's agriculture industry.

Frequently asked questions

About this survey

What types of questions are asked in the Livestock Slaughtered Survey?

This survey collects information on the number of livestock slaughtered, the amount of meat produced, and its value. The categories include cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and deer.

Why has this business been included in the survey?

This survey is answered by a selected group of businesses or organisations that represent the livestock industry, such as abattoirs and other related establishments. Businesses or organisations of a range of sizes are included to ensure accurate representation of the value of Australia's abattoir and slaughtering industry.

We are a small farm or business: should we be included in this survey?

The ABS considers the activities of small businesses or organisations to be as important as larger ones. Therefore, we need everyone selected to participate in this survey. Smaller businesses or organisations have specific characteristics and can be impacted differently by government policies and incentives, such as those related to a drought or a pandemic. Your participation in this survey will help governments and others to design policies that better support businesses like yours, and the wider agriculture industry.

How is the information from this survey used? Why is it important?

Your participation in this survey provides us with data that is essential for producing statistics on Australia's livestock slaughtered activity. This data assists policy makers, industry groups and producers with planning and budgeting, and informs important decisions about agricultural issues.

The information you provide in the survey about your business is not shared with any individuals or organisations outside of the ABS. The statistics published from this survey are drawn upon by a wide variety of individuals and organisations in both the public and private sector, with major users including:

  • Australian Pork Limited;
  • National Farmers Federation (Cattle Council);
  • Australian Meat and Livestock Association;
  • Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences;
  • State and Territory governments, including departments related to primary industry;
  • Schools, universities and other educational institutions; and
  • Media.

Do we have to answer the questions?

Yes. Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 you are obliged to provide the information requested by the ABS. All the information you provide will remain strictly confidential.

We recognise that your business may have been impacted by recent unprecedented events, including natural disasters or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our aim is to ensure that Australia has access to the best possible information on the social and economic impacts of these events. Your participation in our surveys at this time is critical in informing our country’s response.

By completing this survey, you help to ensure the results truly reflect the current state of Australian agriculture.

You can use the final comment box at the end of the survey form to provide extra information about circumstances impacting your agricultural activity. You can also use this box to tell us about your current business conditions and your expectations for the coming months, as well as any further comments on information you have provided in the survey.

We understand this is a difficult time and we are here to help. We will contact you if your survey participation is delayed, and we will help you if you are having difficulties.

How long will we need to participate in this survey?

The length of time that a business or organisation is selected in any particular ABS survey will depend on factors such as the size of the business or organisation, the number of businesses or organisations with similar characteristics, and how significant the activities of the business or organisation are to the overall statistics.

The Livestock Slaughtered Survey is conducted as a census of relevant businesses within the industry regardless of size. Due to this and the varied contribution to the overall survey results, businesses responding as part of this survey will usually remain in a survey for longer periods of time.

Due to the large number of smaller businesses or organisations in Australia, they are generally not included in more than one survey at a time. However, there will always be some cases where inclusion in more than one survey cannot be avoided. Where possible, we use data from existing administrative data sources to replace, or reduce, direct data collection from smaller businesses.

Do we have to provide figures for this survey right now?

Yes. The industry, business and government users of the statistics produced from this survey need the most accurate and timely information possible so they can make well-informed decisions which impact Australian businesses and communities.

We recognise that your business may have been impacted by recent unprecedented events, including natural disasters or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If your ability to respond to this survey has been impacted by these events, please contact us. If you'd like to speak to one of our team or need help providing the requested information, please call us on 1800 030 084 and one of our friendly team will assist you.

Will the information we provide be kept safe, secure, and confidential?

Yes. We take the security of the information you provide to us very seriously. Your completed form and personal information will remain strictly confidential to the ABS. The information is used to calculate statistics and these are only released in the form of aggregated data. The information in this survey is collected under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, ABS staff are obliged to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of information provided.

We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe we have breached these principles, please see the information on how to lodge a complaint about privacy matters, contained within our privacy policy.

Will we be paid for our time?

No. There is no provision within the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to reimburse individuals, businesses or organisations for the cost of providing statistical information. In line with other national statistical organisations throughout the world, individuals, businesses and other organisations are asked to supply information for statistical purposes without compensation. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce the statistics that inform Australia's important decisions.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business was sold before the beginning of, or during the reference period?

Yes. Please complete your survey form with comments indicating the sale of the entity and the date of the sale.

If the business operated by the selected entity (e.g. ABN) was sold during the reference period, then the survey should be completed using figures up to, and including, the day that the business was sold, as well as figures relating to any other new activity undertaken by the selected entity for the remainder of the reference period. Please also provide the name of the new business owners.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business is still operating but didn't trade during the reference period?

Yes. You will still need to submit your survey with comments stating that your business or organisation did not trade during the reference period. You do not need to include any figures or zero values.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business has gone into liquidation or administration during the reference period?

Yes. Please complete the survey using figures up to, and including, the day that the business was liquidated or went into administration. It is also important to report the date that this occurred.

If you are unable to access the accounts, then the liquidator or administrator should complete the survey. Where this is not possible, best available estimates of the data should be provided. Where estimates are not possible, please call us on 1800 030 084 and one of our team will be happy to assist you.

We have already completed the survey and have received a reminder letter. What should we do?

If you have received a reminder letter about completing a survey, it is likely that you have returned the survey at the same time as we issued your reminder notice. If you wish to confirm this, please call one of our team on 1800 030 084 and we will check the information against our records.

How to complete this survey

How do we answer the Livestock Slaughtered Survey?

You should have received a letter with an enclosed survey paper form. Please complete the form and return it to us using the Reply Paid envelope provided. If you need help completing the survey, need to request a new form, or you are concerned that you have provided incorrect information, please call us on 1800 030 084 and we will be happy to assist you.

If you would like more general information about participating in our surveys, please see our Survey Participant Information page.

About the questions in the survey

How accurate do the figures need to be?

We require information to be as accurate as possible. The information you supply is used to produce statistics which represent businesses within the same industry operating in Australia. The more accurate the figures you supply, the more accurate the statistics will be.

Why can't we see the figures we provided last time in the current survey form?

Due to strict privacy policy guidelines protecting the information submitted by our data providers, we create new survey forms that do not contain previously submitted data.

Can we use the statistics produced from this survey?

Yes. We provide statistics free of charge on our website. Statistics produced from this survey are published in Livestock Products, Australia.

Our website also provides additional and up-to-date information over and above our existing statistical releases to enhance understanding of the economic impacts of COVID-19, in Measuring the impacts of COVID-19.

Contact us

Who can we contact for more information or to provide feedback?

You can call us on 1800 030 084 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. If you call us outside these hours, please leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call as soon as possible.

You can also use our online Business Surveys Contact Form to outline the details of your situation and we will be in touch.

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