Reports of animal cruelty are alarming and any mistreatment of animals is appalling and not acceptable.
Australia produces and exports livestock according to animal welfare and production standards, which are unmatched by any other country and works actively with destination markets to help improve animal welfare standards.
It concerns me that if Australia was to ban live exports, animals would be sourced from other countries that neither impose our high domestic standards, nor work with destination countries to implement higher standards.
The government supports a sensible, methodical approach to ensure that matters arising in the live export market are properly investigated by the government of the day and corrective action and compliance applied where required. The introduction of the Exported Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) has resulted in improved animal handling procedures and upgraded facilities in many overseas countries.
A recent review into ECAS has indicated that more than 99 percent of exported Australian animals are treated humanely and in accordance with the standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health.
The Department of Agriculture is responsible for investigating any allegations of ESCAS non-compliance and results of these investigations will be made public when completed. Information on investigations and their outcomes is published on the department’s website at: www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/export/live-animals/livestock/regulatory-framework/compliance-investigations
I appreciate that this is an extremely difficult issue and there are many people in the community with strong views on both sides of the debate. I am confident that with the proper safeguards the live animal trade can continue successfully in a humane way.