Too right it is Alison! Every time anyone other than an exporter looks on the ground (or in a car boot or a wheelbarrow), in the Middle East, in Oman, Kuwait etc…..Australian sheep are found out of supply chains. Time and time again, no matter what month of the year or what country. If ESCAS were working this simply wouldn't be possible.
The breaches occur over and over again, the offending exporters are identified over and over again….and nothing happens. There is no requirement for the Federal Government to do anything. Barnaby can say what he likes about how much interaction there is between the Dept of Ag and the offending exporters, but when the CEO of Wellard is exasperated enough to go public with the fact that Dept of Ag never does anything meaningful, then clearly, enough is enough. AA, RSPCA, VALE and any number of other organisations have called for strict penalties for non-compliance as long as this trade continues. Why should the offending companies get off scot free…..it makes a mockery of ESCAS, a mockery of live export's "care for Australian animals", a mockery of Australian commerce and a mockery of Australian animal welfare….and the animals continue to experience unabated suffering as they have done for over 30 years (never forget that this was the trade that strongly argued that ESCAS wasn't even necessary!!!)
So, we have ESCAS breaches occurring over and over, to the point that Wellard wants someone (the importers, over which Australia has no control) penalised - but still the government does not act. ESCAS was set up to prevent breaches. Consistent and recurrent breaches occur over and over again - always in evidence when Animals Australia just happens to turn up - so presumably when they are not there either, i.e. all the time. And the Australian Government does nothing, again and again. This is big business. Exporters make a truckload of money, and like any other business that makes truckloads of money, they should be forced to follow the rules and be penalised when those rules are breached. Take away their licences, or start fining them so much that it becomes a commercial imperative to toe the line. Simple.