The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) is pleased a Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food investigation into the culling of sheep in Pakistan last year has been completed and found no fault on behalf of Fremantle-based exporter, Wellard Group.
WAFarmers President Dale Park said the result of the report reflected the work Australian exporters and industry continued to do to comply with government regulations.
“That this investigation has been completed and the exporter has been found to have complied with ESCAS approvals and other regulations is welcome news for the industry,” Mr Park said.
“However, it was an expected outcome given the high standards of animal welfare in the industry.
“The whole incident highlights the need to continue refining ESCAS to ensure animal welfare standards are upheld and continually improved and refined in Australia’s export markets.
“Nevertheless, there is no justification for the cruel manner in which more than 20,000 sheep were culled, which caused unnecessary pain and suffering to the animals concerned.”
The report found intervention by the Pakistan authorities and accompanying armed police was beyond the control of Wellard and could not be avoided, and the personnel of the exporter and importer in Pakistan went to extraordinary lengths to prevent the cull from occurring.
As part of WAFarmers’ Federal Election 2013 Policy Statement, WAFarmers has called on political parties to commit to expanding the live animal export trade by working with industry to improve ESCAS and make it easier for exporters to comply with requirements.
WAFarmers has supported the development of ESCAS to ensure positive animal welfare outcomes in the live export industry and remains committed to working with government to ensure the sustainability of the live export industry.