AUSTRALIA - Livestock export industry representatives have said they worked proactively in key Eid al Adha festival supply chains in the Middle East where Australian sheep have been detected outside of approved facilities.
Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council CEO Simon Westaway confirmed that exporter representatives in the Middle East had identified Australian sheep outside of approved supply chains and, in keeping with Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) protocols, have advised the Department.
Under the ESCAS requirements, Australian livestock must not be sold outside of approved supply chains and cannot be purchased for home slaughter or for slaughter at facilities that have not been approved as meeting international animal welfare standards.
Mr Westaway said: “Exporters have Australian staff on the ground in our markets across the Middle East supervising the management arrangements at approved facilities for Australian sheep over Eid al Adha, while other Australian and locally engaged staff have been monitoring local markets for illegally removed sheep.
“As outlined by ALEC Chairman Simon Crean upon his return from a recent tour of the Middle East, despite the ESCAS-compliance measures in place, industry was aware of the risk that some Australian animals would be traded outside of the approved supply chain.
“Such leakage, while reflecting the commercial desperation of local traders to offer Australian sheep to the public, undermines the significant collaborative efforts of exporters in the market to develop the special livestock management systems for Eid.”
Mr Westaway said the industry will review its supply chain systems at the conclusion of Eid and continue to implement measures that prevent Australian sheep from being removed illegally from supply chains, not just during Eid but at any time of year.
TheSheepSite News Desk