The Australian livestock export industry has undergone major changes over the last several years, as a result of the ABC Four Corners report into live exports in 2012, the Government suspension and the subsequent resumption of trade.
At the heart of these changes has been ensuring continuous improvements in animal welfare.
The suspension of the livestock export industry impacted on many families and communities in Northern Australia, and the livestock industry is committed to ensuring we continue to deliver increased improvements in animal welfare in line with regulatory requirements and social expectations.
As a result, the industry worked closely with governments and key stakeholders to develop a system that protects the welfare of exported livestock. This system, the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), is an approved and independently audited system that meets international animal welfare standards, safeguarding the welfare of exported Australian animals.
The industry strongly supports ESCAS through the development and extension of Standard Operating Procedures that align with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) animal welfare requirements. This support includes training, education and technical advice developed by industry and delivered by locally based animal welfare officers.
The new system has required significant investment by both Australian and Indonesian industries and demonstrates the serious commitment of exporters and importers to getting the system right and ensuring the right welfare outcomes for Australian livestock.