Live Export

Investigation finds ESCAS breach as Wilkie renews ban push

Beef Central, 16/05/2013

Three Australian live exporters will face more stringent conditions on their export licenses after a Department of Agriculture investigation concluded that they lost control of sheep exported to Kuwait last August.

The investigation report came as independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie launched his third legislative attempt to ban the live export trade.

Mr Wilkie and Animals Australia chief investigator Lyn White released further footage of alleged animal cruelty involving Australian cattle in Egypt on Thursday as they stood side by side in Canberra to launch a new bill aimed at phasing out the trade within three years. 

If passed by Federal Parliament, the bill would also immediately impose mandatory stunning of Australian livestock slaughtered overseas.

“The live export industry is systemically cruel, opposed by the vast majority of Australians and not in our economic interests,” Mr Wilkie told a media conference in Canberra yesterday.

“This latest evidence of horrific animal cruelty in Egypt demonstrates that this trade will never have appropriate animal welfare outcomes and must be stopped.

“I have given formal notice of my intention to introduce the Live Animal Export (Restriction and Prohibition) Bill 2013 into Federal Parliament.

“A similar Bill was rejected by the Government and Opposition in August 2011. Since then we have seen shocking evidence of more live export cruelty in Kuwait, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt and Indonesia.

“It is my hope that the Government and Opposition will now see sense and support the end of this cruel trade.”

RELATED ARTICLE:  Livex Council responds to Wilkie Bill

Meanwhile the Department of Agriculture,  Fisheries and Forestry last night released a report after concluding an investigation into a complaint made by Animals Australia about sheep exported to Kuwait last year.

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 said its 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 said it 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.

The investigation report is available on the DAFF website at



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