The latest report on the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) reveals continuing systemic failures in regulating the trade: 514 animals, six major breaches in 3 countries (Israel, Malaysia and Vietnam and two critical breaches in Vietnam.
Recurrent theme: loss of control over the locations of the animals taken outside the approved supply chains, in some cases, right under the nose of the exporter's Animal Welfare Officer ("an out of control crowd event").
Recurrent offenders: one importer in Vietnam was suspended in 2015 only to be re-approved several months later despite major and critical non-compliances including supply chain breaches involving almost 2,000 animals, some of whom ended up in backyard abattoirs. And now...intentionally on-selling 309 cattle to China and ‘deliberately interfering with control and traceability systems at the feedlot by covering CCTV cameras’). And even now, the government are discussing re-approval....really?
ESCAS is there for a reason....because Australian animals, exported live, are consistently and repetitively abused in foreign countries. Nothing can protect our vulnerable animals overseas....the evidence is there and the government needs to act. If the government is not going to ban the trade then it needs to ban all offending importers immediately and permanently for major and critical breaches. The government also needs to start penalising the exporters where appropriate (ie in repetitive non self-reported incidents).
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