NTLEA History

Promoting northern livestock export

The NTLEA is headquartered in the Northern Territory’s capital city of Darwin where, on average, more than 400,000 cattle are exported to South East Asia every year. The NTLEA has a corporate office in the Darwin CBD and also owns a pre-export quarantine facility, the Berrimah Export Yards, located at Darwin Port’s doorstep.

While the first trial shipments of cattle from the Northern Territory to Hong Kong, Jakarta and Singapore were undertaken in the 1880s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that the trade started to show consistent commercial promise.
In that era, shipments of livestock from the NT consisted mainly of breeder cattle to various South East Asian countries, although markets for slaughter cattle, as well as NT buffalo, started to grow.

Since then, vessels servicing the livestock export fleet have grown in size and speed, complementing growth in markets for northern Australian cattle in countries like Indonesia. Businesses involved in supplying and facilitating the export of livestock from Darwin and other northern ports have strongly supported the NTLEA for many years, recognising the Association’s unique role in promoting northern Australia’s livestock export industry and in representing the interests of livestock exporters and other supply chain service providers.

From the Association’s informal beginnings in the late 1970s, through to its official formation and incorporation in 1980 and in decades since, the NTLEA has remained focused on providing its members with leadership and an effective voice for the northern livestock export industry.

In addition to our core licenced Australian exporter members, our association is proud include some of northern Australia’s largest cattle producers, major logistics businesses with interests in road and maritime transport, as well as accredited livestock veterinarians, fodder specialists and quarantine yard operators.

The NTLEA represents all aspects of the modern livestock export supply chain and is proud to promote the world’s best animal welfare outcomes.

Upon winning our industry’s 2022 Lifetime Achiever Award, NTLEA’s first president Angus Adnam reflected on his time in the livestock export industry, including in the emergence of the modern trade in the NT in the 1970s and 1980s: My life in livestock exports – Angus Adnam

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