The Government takes the welfare of animals very seriously and the health and wellbeing of exported livestock is a priority for us. Animal cruelty in any circumstance is unacceptable and Australia has the strictest system in the world to ensure our exported livestock are treated as humanely as possible.
The live export trade equally holds great importance in our agriculture sector and supports the livelihoods of many hardworking farmers and their families.
Publicly available data indicates that well over 99 per cent of livestock exported from Australia arrive at their destination successfully.
The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) also ensures exporters have arrangements in place for Australian livestock to be handled and slaughtered in overseas markets in accordance with World Organisation for Animal Health standards. Since its inception, ESCAS has underpinned the export of over two million animals annually and less than one percent have not been handled in line with our strict standards. To view the publicly available statistics for the live export trade, including investigations into non-compliance with our strict standards visit www.agriculture.gov.au/lae
Actions taken by the department in response to confirmed ESCAS non-compliances range from requiring corrective procedures to prevent reoccurrence of non-compliance, suspending supply of livestock to specified facilities, removal of specific facilities from supply chains, and suspending entire supply chains. The department will publish the outcomes of each investigation once completed on its website at https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/live-animals/livestock/regulatory-framework/compliance-investigations/investigations-regulatory-compliance.
The government’s regulatory framework is committed to facilitating continual improvement in the live export trade and we remain committed to supporting an economically and socially sustainable industry.
Australia continues to influence and improve animal welfare standards in international markets. Our ongoing investment to develop infrastructure and provide education and training improves animal handling practices in our export markets, which benefits welfare outcomes for all animals, not just our exported livestock.
The Australian Government will continue to remain vigilant to ensure our strict live animal export trade standards are enforced.