25 June 2013
 DAFF Regional Managers
 DAFF Live Animal Exports Officers
 Livestock Exporters
 AQIS Accredited Veterinarians - Livestock
To advise licensed livestock exporters of their responsibility to ensure female cattle that are presented for export comply with the relevant ASEL standards, are individually identified and that pregnancy testing or speying documentation clearly lists the identity and pregnancy status of the cattle.
There have been several reported instances where female cattle have been presented for export and/or exported that have not complied with the requirements of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).
ASEL standards S1.9 and S1.10 relate respectively to the sourcing of female cattle for export by sea as slaughter/feeder animals or as breeder animals.
ASEL standards S6.6 and S6.6A relate respectively to the sourcing of female cattle for export by air as breeder animals or as slaughter/feeder animals.
Examples of instances referenced above include:
- Cattle have been rejected in Registered Premises before export as they have calved and /or displayed signs of being pregnant including udder development / softening of the vulva.
- Cattle have calved while being prepared for export or during the voyage to the importing country and have been removed from exporters’ approved supply chain in the importing country after being identified as being pregnant.
- DAFF has investigated reports of breeder cattle calving in the immediate post arrival period in the importing country.
The above outcomes do not reflect compliance with the ASEL or acceptable animal welfare practices and in some cases, has led to the integrity of DAFF certification being questioned by the importing country authorities. The integrity of DAFF certification is critical to ensure continued market access for the live export industry as well as other Australian export industries.
State veterinary authorities and the Australian Veterinary Association have raised concerns about female cattle not being adequately identified and their pregnancy status being incorrectly reported.
The above outcomes demonstrate that existing processes to ensure compliance with the ASEL and / or importing country requirements need to be strengthened. To minimise the risk of further non compliance with the ASEL, adverse animal welfare outcomes and market access concerns, exporters are required to comply with the following instructions for all consignments of cattle being prepared for export from 1 August 2013.
- All female cattle presented for export must be individually identified such that their identity can be easily verified by DAFF officers.
- Exporters are required to provide pregnancy or spey declarations that clearly and individually identify any female cattle that are presented for export, their pregnancy status and stage of pregnancy (if pregnant) as well as the date that the cattle were pregnancy tested or speyed.
- Exporters must be able to clearly demonstrate the link between any female cattle presented for export and supporting declarations identifying the animal and its pregnancy status.
- Any female cattle that do not comply with points 1-3 are ineligible for export.
- DAFF officers must be able to verify that exporters are complying with points 1-3. Failure of exporters to comply will result in cattle being rejected from the consignment with potential further investigation by DAFF.
- An exporter may choose to re-present any female cattle previously considered ineligible for export once they can demonstrate compliance with points 1-3.
- If there is evidence that the pregnancy status declarations are inaccurate, DAFF may require that all female cattle covered by that declaration are retested to confirm their pregnancy status and stage of pregnancy.
Assistant Secretary (A/g)
Animal Export Operations Branch
Contact officer: Tim Naylor / Jonathan Adams
Ph: (02) 6272 3933
Fax: (02) 6272 5423
Email: Livestock Export