COMPLIANT live animal exporters will enjoy streamlined verification processes under arrangements announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce last Friday.
Mr Joyce said the promised reforms to the livestock export certification process would save the industry $1.2 million per annum, freeing up time and resources to focus on the most important parts of the business, including ensuring animal welfare standards are met.
“Under approved arrangements, instead of continually approving mountains of documents the department will be able to focus on exporters’ business systems, identifying areas of risk and ensuring exporters address any deficiencies before they escalate.
“Through an increased focus on exporters’ business systems, including a stronger emphasis on auditing, the department will be better able to ensure exporters consistently prepare livestock consignments that meet all regulatory requirements,” Mr Joyce said.
“This is one more way that this government is reducing unnecessary red tape, duplication of effort and administrative burden for our agricultural industries.
“This initiative complements recent live export reforms, including new audit requirements for ESCAS introduced in April this year that allow stronger scrutiny for poor performers and high-risk markets.”
The approved arrangements only apply to on-shore activities conducted within Australia, where existing animal welfare is strong, and do not change existing Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) requirements in any way.
“These arrangements will help ensure the system focuses resources on areas of highest risk and encourage continual improvement by rewarding compliant exporter performance.”
Minister Joyce said the Australian Government remains committed to the best possible market access opportunities and farmgate returns for Australian live animal exporters. Since 2013, the government had successfully negotiated access to another seven livestock export markets—Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, Cambodia, Thailand, Lebanon and China, he said.
Approved arrangements will be compulsory for livestock exports from January 1, 2017.
Source: Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.