What animal welfare regulations must Australian livestock exporters follow?
The entire livestock export process – from farm to the point of slaughter – is regulated by the Australian Government under two main regulatory systems: the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock and the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme.
The Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock outline the animal health and welfare requirements for the livestock export industry from farm through to the discharge of animals in the country of destination. It also incorporates stringent reporting requirements for exporters to ensure the Australian Government can monitor animal health and welfare throughout a voyage and respond to emergency situations if they arise.
During all voyages livestock are cared for by trained and accredited stock people and during long-haul voyages a veterinarian accredited by the Australian Government is also present.
The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System requires livestock exporters to demonstrate livestock remain within approved supply chains at all times from discharge within the importing country to the processing of animals.
Animals must also be handled and processed in accordance with the internationally accepted requirements for animal welfare established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Failure to comply with the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System can result in the Australian Government revoking the exporter’s licence, applying conditions to a licence, failing to approve future consignments and imposing criminal sanctions.