On 19 and 20 May 2014, Animals Australia submitted a report to the department that alleged approximately 650 Australian sheep exported under ESCAS requirements to Jordan 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 an approved ESCAS 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 the Wellard Rural Exports’ Pty Ltd (Wellard’s) Jordan sheep supply chain. While there were a number of other Australian sheep identified outside of an approved ESCAS, these could not be traced to a particular exporter.
The allegation of Australian sheep that did not remain identified by ear tag at an exporter’s ESCAS feedlot could not be substantiated as no exporter had an approved feedlot at that location. The department considers it is likely the sheep present at the feedlot were Australian and had been removed from an ESCAS supply chain(s).
Wellard’s investigations identified that one feedlot within its supply chain was subject to theft of Australian sheep. The exporter took corrective action by working with the importer to significantly increase security presence and procedures at the feedlot.
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.
The department accepted that the actions taken by the exporter in this case sufficiently addressed the concerns and therefore no further regulatory action was taken.