Stock & Land, 10 July 2015. More ESCAS (Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System) concerns in Asia, by Colin Bettles.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

THE (Australian) Department of Agriculture is investigating a raft of new allegations of non-compliance with Australia’s animal welfare regulatory system for cattle sold into the Vietnam and Thailand live export markets.

However, Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has rejected suggestions the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) is failing to achieve outcomes that meet community expectations of animal welfare, saying it would “oxymoronic” to end the trade…

The news comes after recent criticism of excessive supply chain leakages in the northern Vietnam market, including cross-border black market trade into China to obtain higher prices…

Animals Australia and the RSPCA also want live exports shut down and fear the Department is continuing to grant export permits for Vietnam and Malaysia while the government admits failures with ESCAS standards, in those markets…

Another industry self-report of non-compliance with ESCAS from June 19 cited failure to meet requirements for cattle exported to Vietnam, with animals sighted outside the approved supply chain with potential adverse animal welfare outcomes.

Speaking at the National Press Club this week about the incidents, Mr Joyce said reports of ESCAS non-compliance in northern Vietnam came from industry, not from animal liberationists, “which actually shows the ESCAS system is working because the industry itself has reported on that”.

He said an audit of the system showed there had been 12,000 issues relating to over 8 million head of cattle (exported) representing about 98-99 per cent compliance…

“There’s over 100 nations on earth that do live export … to remove the only nation that’s actually trying to make things better, to be left with all the nations who are doing nothing … is oxymoronic.”…

“Live trade is vastly less than 10 per cent of our cattle, of our meat sales, but it’s a very important section.”…

In response to concerns about supply chain leakages in the Vietnam market, industry has introduced tighter control measures including installing CCTV facilities in ESCAS approved abattoirs…

 

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