Labor welcomes the release of the review of the former Labor Government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).
The report confirms that Australia now has a unique system which delivers the best animal welfare outcomes in the world.
The pause in the trade to Indonesia in 2011 was regrettable for the industry but it has now put the sector on a sustainable footing. Barnaby Joyce likes to falsely claim credit for the sector’s positive turn around, but in fact it has been Labor’s commitment to develop ESCAS and our $60 million Indonesia market development package which has allowed the sector to grow.
ESCAS is also lifting other live exporting nations up to our standards. In other words, Australia’s system is improving animal welfare in other countries as well.
The Abbott Government should be on notice; Labor will not support any watering-down of ESCAS. Minor changes addressing regulatory burden will be considered but not changes which undermine the integrity of the system.
Labor also remains committed to the appointment of an Independent Inspector General for Animal Welfare and Live Animal Export as announced pre-election but dropped by the Abbott Government.