Cattle and sheep producers have welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, to improve the effectiveness of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

Cattle Council of Australia Board Member Geoff Pearson and Sheepmeat Council of Australia Vice President Jeff Murray say the announcements to streamline ESCAS will reduce unnecessary red tape while ensuring animal welfare outcomes.

Mr Pearson said, “The cattle and sheep industries are committed to continuous improvements in animal welfare in Australia and in our overseas markets. A reduction in administrative costs will allow more resources to flow to animal welfare programs.

“ESCAS reinforces Australia’s position as a global leader in animal welfare. No other nation involved in the export of livestock has a welfare-focused regulatory system from paddock to point of slaughter on the same scale as Australia.”

Mr Murray said that there is a need to reduce the costs of ESCAS and ensure the system does not become a barrier to trade.

“The live trade is a valuable and strategically important market for Australian cattle and sheep. It provides marketing options for producers, underpins prices and demand for livestock, is complementary to boxed meat production systems and satisfies the needs of important markets that cannot be met through the export of chilled and frozen meat.

“Today’s announcement is particularly welcome news for sheep producers in Western Australia and cattle producers in northern Australia, who have done it tough in the last couple of years.

“Sheepmeat Council and Cattle Council have worked closely with government and other industry stakeholders, including the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, LiveCorp, and MLA to improve the effectiveness of ESCAS.

“Industry looks forward to the opportunity to continue working with Minister Joyce and the Department of Agriculture to address administrative and structural inefficiencies associated with ESCAS, while ensuring best animal welfare outcomes and trade objectives are facilitated”, Mr Murray said.


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