Inspector-General of live Animal Exports report on the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System
A report on the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) was issued today by Australia’s Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports, Mr Ross Carter.
The Review of ESCAS was published on 28 June 2021 and made 8 recommendations to improve the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s regulatory capability and culture.
Mr Carter found that ESCAS has been a successful reform that has largely achieved its broad objectives. However, this review has revealed a range of concerns with ESCAS that need to be addressed to ensure that all Australian livestock exported for slaughter are treated in accordance with the appropriate animal health and welfare standards and practices, and that the scheme is operating as effectively and efficiently as possible.
The inspector-general focused his observations and recommendations on 3 challenges.
Firstly, the business processes for ESCAS applications, from both an industry and a departmental perspective, were outdated. The underpinning technology does not facilitate accurate and easy applications from industry and does not support departmental decision makers in reaching efficient decisions.
Secondly, loss of control and traceability, sometimes with poor animal welfare outcomes, still occurs at low but chronic levels. I have recommended further exploring the use of visual recording and electronic scanning technologies in markets or for exporters where demonstrated systemic issues occur.
Thirdly, the department needs to improve compliance monitoring and use a more active escalation of proportionate regulatory actions in response to poor performance.
The review also examined potential third party providers who could provide the opportunity to address non-compliance issues and lift the bar on audit performance.
The report provides 8 recommendations which the department has supported or supported in principle.
The inspector-general would like to thank those stakeholders who provided information to inform this review.
The final report can be viewed on the IGLAE website