16 May 2013
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has completed an investigation into a complaint made by Animals Australia about sheep exported to Kuwait.
The DAFF investigation found Australian sheep were sold and slaughtered in Kuwait in August 2012 outside an approved supply chain, in breach of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).
DAFF has released the investigation report today.
The investigation concluded the sheep shown in photographs and video footage were highly likely to be Australian and exported under ESCAS arrangements. The investigation also found that there is evidence of international animal welfare standard breaches.
DAFF has taken action, putting in place additional requirements for exporters to strengthen control and traceability in exporter supply chains.
Three exporters—Emmanuel Exports Pty Ltd, International Livestock Export Pty Ltd and EMS Rural Exports Pty Ltd—received approval to export sheep to Kuwait under ESCAS. However it was not possible to fully identify the sheep to a particular property, consignment or exporter based on the photos and footage provided.
All three exporters have been directed, in accordance with the section 17 of the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act 1997, to undertake additional activities for any future consignments to Kuwait.
Supply chain officers must be in place in the Kuwait supply chains to regularly reconcile animals and provide monthly reports to DAFF. The activities of the supply chain officers will also be independently audited.
Additional requirements to strengthen control and traceability in the Kuwait supply chains were put in place for all consignments of sheep exported to Kuwait from the time DAFF received the complaint from Animals Australia until the completion of the investigation.
Allegations of animal welfare breaches are taken very seriously.
The investigation report is available on the DAFF website.
Further information on ESCAS is available on the website.
Audio grabs of Deputy Secretary Phillip Glyde explaining the outcomes of the investigation are available on the website.