Australian live export industry faces new scandal

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Live exports: Australian goats mistreated in Malaysia

Related tags Live export Livestock

Australia has been hit by yet another live export scandal after a welfare group released footage allegedly showing cruel treatment of Australian goats and cattle in Malaysia.

The footage was filmed at 6 facilities in Malaysia - which is the biggest live export market for Australian goats. It showed goats being handled roughly, stuffed into sacks, thrown into the back of trucks and cars and sold to non-approved facilities.

Animals Australia said that the footage proved that Australian live export rules were being “blatantly disregarded”​ and claimed that many animals had their ear tags removed in an attempt to hide breaches of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

The group, which was reportedly working on a tip off from a Malaysian businessman, said it also had footage of cattle being poorly treated during slaughter at ESCAS-approved facilities in Malaysia.


The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has confirmed that it has launched an investigation and contacted both the Malaysian government and eight exporters that supply the country with livestock.

“Evidence has been provided to DAFF and an investigation has commenced,”​ said a spokesperson.

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Association (ALEC) said that it had sent its own investigators to Malaysia, although it added that it had not yet seen the footage.

Live export ban

This is the latest in a string of scandals to hit Australia’s live export industry, the most recent of which hit last week, when Animals Australia released footage of horrific abuse of cattle in two abattoirs in Egypt. The abuse was widely condemned by Australian exporters and welfare charities, and DAFF is currently investigating the matter with exporters and Egyptian authorities.

ALEC has voluntarily suspended live exports to Egypt and called for trade with the country to be absorbed into the ESCAS system, which it claimed would help protect the welfare of exported animals.

However, Animals Australia claimed the only way to stop abuse of Australian livestock in export markets is to ban the live export trade completely.

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