24 July 2013
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has completed its investigation into the consignment of Australian sheep exported to and culled in Pakistan in September and October 2012.
DAFF has released its investigation report today, concluding that the handling and slaughter of sheep shown in the publicly released video footage was not compliant with OIE animal welfare recommendations.
The report also found that the intervention by Pakistan authorities and armed police on the ground were outside the scope of Australia’s regulatory framework.
The report found, therefore, that the events could not have been avoided by Wellard Rural Exports through the exercise of due care under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).
DAFF continues to maintain that the sheep were healthy and met all importing country requirements for Bahrain (the original destination market) and Pakistan. A period of considerable legal and diplomatic effort and international independent laboratory testing took place to address Pakistan’s concerns around the health of the sheep.
The livestock export industry has voluntarily suspended the export of slaughter and feeder animals to Pakistan. DAFF supports this position.
The animal welfare breaches that took place in Pakistan were unacceptable and we understand the Australian community’s desire to see action.
Due to the seriousness of the outcomes, trade in slaughter and feeder livestock to Pakistan will not recommence until a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that includes animal welfare assurances is agreed between the Governments of Australia and Pakistan.
In addition, trade to Bahrain will not recommence until a revised MoU is agreed between the Governments of Australia and Bahrain. The revised MoU must provide certainty about the health requirements for livestock entering Bahrain and include an assurance that livestock exported to Bahrain will be promptly unloaded within a clearly defined period of arrival at port.
Transcipt: Report into sheep exported to Pakistan