Sales and slaughter of Australian sheep to an importer in Jordan have been suspended indefinitely following reports of non-compliance with animal welfare rules for live exports.
- Exports of live sheep from Australia to a facility in Jordan have been suspended
- Exporter LSS confirmed “non-compliance” with animal welfare requirements occurred on July 20
- The exporter says an investigation is ongoing
A statement, released by Perth-based Australian exporter Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) said a third-party had reported “non-compliant handling and slaughter” at an unnamed facility in Jordan.
LSS said the conduct as “unacceptable” and the exporter was “committed to understanding why the facility operated this way and rectifying the issues”.
LSS confirmed the non-compliance took place on July 20, but was not notified by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment until July 28 about the third-party’s report.
The reported non-compliance related to Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) requirements, under which Australian exporters are required to send animals to facilities that meet World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) animal welfare recommendations.
“The facility has previously never had a non-compliance,” the statement said.
“LSS are currently working with local authorities to remove all the remaining sheep from the facility and relocate them to an approved feedlot.
“Loading of the sheep will be overseen by the Jordan supply chain manager to ensure animal handling and transport meets ESCAS requirements.
Council reveals report filed by Animals Australia
Mark Harvey-Sutton from industry group Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) told ABC Rural the third-party that reported the non-compliance was an anti-live export group.
Mr Harvey-Sutton said he’d seen “confronting and disappointing” footage supplied by Animals Australia in relation to the non-compliance report.
“I haven’t seen all of the footage, but what it portrays basically is the non-confirmation of death after the animal had its throat slit,” Mr Harvey-Sutton said.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has been approached for more details.
End exporter’s licence, RSPCA says
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said it was deeply concerned but not surprised by the reports of ESCAS non-compliance out of Jordan.
It called on the department, as regulator, to remove the licence to export from LSS, which was involved in a separate ESCAS complaint, also in Jordan, last August.
“That would be proportionate to the scale of non-compliance this exporter has engaged in and the magnitude of suffering it has contributed to,” RSPCA spokesman Jed Goodfellow said.
“RSPCA wrote to Minister Littleproud and Secretary Metcalfe in August last year calling for an urgent review of the department’s enforcement framework, but has not been notified of an outcome to this review to date.”
Australian exports of sheep to the Middle East are banned from June 1-September 14 each year.