The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System forbids Australian livestock from being sold outside of its conditions. Under its terms, exported animals cannot be purchased for home slaughter or for slaughter at facilities that have not been approved as meeting international animal welfare standards.
Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chief executive Simon Westaway confirmed that said the Department of Agriculture had been advised of a number of breaches during last week’s festival.
Infringements were identified in the UAE, Kuwait and Oman, while other instances have also been encountered in Malaysia, another Muslim-majority country.
“Exporters have Australian staff on the ground in our markets across the Middle East supervising the management arrangements at approved facilities for Australian sheep over Eid al Adha, while other Australian and locally engaged staff have been monitoring local markets for illegally removed sheep,” Westaway said.
He said the industry had been aware of the risk that some Australian animals would be traded outside of the approved supply chain.
“Such leakage, while reflecting the commercial desperation of local traders to offer Australian sheep to the public, undermines the significant collaborative efforts of exporters in the market to develop the special livestock management systems for Eid.”
The industry plans to review its supply chain systems and will implement measures to prevent Australian sheep from being removed illegally throughout the year.
Special livestock control systems are implemented for Australian sheep in the Middle East, beyond ESCAS requirements, to support the traditional rite to sacrifice animals as part of Eid Al Adha.