On 12 January 2017, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources received a notification from Australian Rural Exports Pty Ltd (Austrex) that non-compliance was identified with three points of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) Animal Welfare Standards checklist (points 1, 2 and 29) during an independent audit of an abattoir conducted on 22 November 2016.
The auditor observed a broken broom stick being used to move cattle as the cattle talker was broken, and the abattoir did not have a backup stunner or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for slaughter of Australian cattle on site at the time of the audit.
Austrex retrained the importer and facility staff in animal handling. The importer provided SOPs to the facility and an Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) was hired to oversee animal welfare requirements.
A follow-up audit was performed by the same auditor on 16 December 2016 and the corrective actions implemented were found to have closed out all points.
No further action was required and no regulatory action was taken by the department.