On 24 January 2014, Animals Australia submitted a report to the department that alleged approximately 500 Australian sheep exported under ESCAS requirements had been offered for sale and slaughter at locations not included in an approved ESCAS, with sheep being handled and slaughtered in a manner that was not in accordance with OIE animal welfare recommendations. The report also alleged that the majority of sheep sighted at a feedlot included in one exporter’s approved supply chain did not remain identified by ear tag.
Findings relating to Wellard Rural Exports Pty Ltd
The department’s review concluded that four Australian sheep exported under ESCAS requirements were moved to locations outside Wellard Rural Exports’ Pty Ltd (Wellard’s) Jordan sheep supply chain. While there were many other Australian sheep identified outside of an approved ESCAS, these could not be traced to a particular exporter.
The department recorded a major non-compliance against the Wellard Jordan sheep supply chain for a failure to comply with the approved ESCAS which led to control and traceability outcomes not being met.
For the footage taken at the feedlot included in one exporter’s ESCAS, the department’s assessment found that while it was likely there were some sheep that did not remain identified by ear tag, this could not be confirmed with certainty based on the poor quality of the video.
The department applied additional conditions to all exporters’ ESCAS arrangements during and following the review.