2018-01 - Amendments to ESCAS auditor guidelines, template and summary report
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18 January 2018
Species: Feeder and slaughter cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats
Country: All markets
- Livestock Exporters
- Australian Livestock Exporters Council
- Department officers
- Meat and Livestock Australia
To clarify the daily slaughter capacity of Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) abattoirs and the number of animals required to be observed slaughtered during an audit.
The Department of Agriculture of Water Resources has made amendments to the auditor guidelines, template and summary report (superseding EAN 2016/08) to reflect this. Updated documents to be used by independent auditors during audits of ESCAS supply chains are provided.
Exporters are required to ensure independent audits are conducted for all facilities in their ESCAS supply chains to provide assurance that livestock control, traceability and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) animal welfare recommendations are being met.
The abattoir’s daily slaughter capacity provided in performance audits is generally the maximum daily capacity. This frequently does not reflect the average daily processing performed and often means the number of animals required to be observed slaughtered are not available for the audit. Amending the number of animals required to be observed based on the average daily slaughter instead of the maximum capacity will mean the audit better reflects standard operations. This will also reduce requests for clarification or further information from the department. Audits submitted with one animal observed slaughtered will be considered on a case by case basis considering supporting information provided by the exporter.
Where the maximum capacity of an abattoir is significantly different from the daily average, exporters will be required to have processes in place to ensure the facility can slaughter at the maximum capacity rate while maintaining ESCAS animal welfare requirements.
The ESCAS animal welfare standards have not been amended and remain consistent with the OIE code.
Amendments have been made to the following documents:
- Guidance to auditors on conducting animal welfare audits (Attachment C)
- ESCAS animal welfare audit form (Attachment D)
- Summary audit report template (Attachment E)
Exporters must ensure these updated documents are provided to all relevant entities for use during independent audits of animal welfare in ESCAS supply chains.
The following related documents have not been updated, but for completeness can be found in the attachments below:
- List of the ESCAS animal welfare standards (Attachment A)
- ESCAS animal welfare standards (Attachment B)
The following changes have been made to the documents:
Attachment C: Guidance to auditors on conducting animal welfare audits:
1.6 Scoring performance
The wording has been amended to:
The numbers of animals that should be observed when scoring performance against these standards should be determined based on the abattoir’s average daily slaughter and are provided in the table below.
|Average daily slaughter (head)||Audit sample size (head)|
|6 - 20||3|
|> 20||10% or 3 animals, whichever is greater|
To demonstrate repeatable compliance with the standard, a minimum of two animals must be observed slaughtered during all audits.
Both the average daily slaughter and the maximum daily capacity (e.g. during festival periods such as Eid al-Adha, Korban, Tet) should be provided in the audit summary and template. These must reflect the capacity for ESCAS approved lines only.
Attachment D: ESCAS animal welfare audit form:
The header table has had fields added to provide room for the additional details.
Attachment E: Summary audit report template:
- for abattoirs, the facility’s average daily slaughter, the number of animals observed slaughtered during the audit, and the facility’s maximum daily capacity (e.g. during festival periods).
Some minor wording amendments and additions have been made to provide auditors with more clarity on what information and level of detail should be provided to reduce department requests for further information or clarification.
Live Animal Export Branch
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Contact Officer: Acacia Pyner
Phone: 02 6272 4581
Email: LAE Compliance