Media statement: Allegations of animal cruelty in Vietnam - update, 15 July 2016

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is conducting an ongoing investigation into serious allegations of animal cruelty in Vietnam.

The department’s first priority has been to ensure the humane handling of all animals exported from Australia.

On receiving this complaint, exporters were immediately directed to account for all animals in their supply chains, with strict supervision and handling conditions applied.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, the department has now suspended 21 facilities in Vietnam, including three feedlots and 18 abattoirs.

The department is conducting exporter control and traceability audits for all eight exporters with supply chains in Vietnam, due to be finalised by the end of July.

As a result of these audits to date, two exporters have been directed to cease supply to the Vietnam market until effective measures have been put in place to address animal control, traceability and verification processes.

Additional conditions have also been placed on four exporters as a result of these ongoing audits, including:

  • increased reporting requirements
  • additional monitoring and supervision by in-market staff to ensure all animals in their supply chain are handled in accordance with the standards required by the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

Any further regulatory action to address issues identified through these audits will be determined once audit findings for each exporter are completed.

Through ESCAS, every incident reported by industry, third parties or discovered through audit is investigated. Exporters are required to address all issues identified by correcting the problems found or by removing non-compliant facilities from their supply chain.

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