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MEDIA RELEASE

ESCAS failures not an industry-wide issue

October 18, 2013

Wellard, like many Australian exporters who have invested resources to make Australia’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) work, is frustrated that the positive impact of ESCAS is being undermined by the recent events in Jordan during the current Eid Festival.

Although this has been portrayed as an industry issue, Wellard believes it is not industry wide and is limited to a certain supply chain.

Wellard’s experience with ESCAS is that it can work, but only when exporters and importers are committed to making it work.  Companies that are prepared to devote the time and resources can ensure the animal welfare outcomes required under the ESCAS program are achieved in target markets.

“For the 2013 Eid in Jordan, Wellard has seven people working on the ground for a week to assist the importer and its customers,” said Wellard Rural Exports CEO Fred Troncone.

“The Australian public, and indeed people in markets that import Australian livestock, have an expectation that animals will be treated humanely and the ongoing viability of our industry depends on our ability to demonstrate that we can deliver on these expectations.”

ESCAS has made a significant contribution to improving the handling and treatment of animals.

“The system was implemented to bring about cultural change, which requires sustained effort and takes time,” Mr Troncone said.

“The ESCAS system does not have to be abandoned, but rather improved as it is based on sound philosophy and assures the long term best interests of the industry. The fact that it presents some practical challenges or cost pressures is not good enough reason to scrap it.

“The progress made in advancing animal welfare in Australia’s markets over the past two years has been significant and these efforts should continue.

“The learnings from this year will be applied next year to make further improvements to the Eid/ESCAS system.”

Wellard staff and contractors currently working in Jordan are training international livestock handlers, using fit for purpose designed sheep trolleys to move sheep around and have fitted the abattoir with a new processing race and table to provide better animal welfare outcomes. 

ENDS 

Media note:

The following images were supplied by Wellard employees in Jordan. Digital copies are provided on request.

 

Image 1: Wellard has worked with its customer in Jordan to provide fit-for-purpose sheep trolleys to ensure animal welfare standards are maintained. 

Image 2: A non-Wellard supplied sheep (still alive) purchased from a market outside the ESCAS system.

For further information please contact:

Mike Groves
Phone: + 61 8 9485 8888
Mobile: +61 427 065 551
Website: www.wellard.com.au

Background – Wellard Rural and Trading

Wellard is a world leader in the production and distribution of livestock and grain.

Its two largest subsidiaries are Wellard Rural Exports, Australia’s largest livestock exporter and ship owner, and Wellard Agri, a large mixed farming land owner and operator specialising in the production of grains, legumes and livestock.

Wellard Rural Exports has supplied quality dairy and beef cattle and sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years, its investment in the live export industry is without peer.  Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, the company’s operations cover every aspect of the export chain, including feed milling, livestock aggregation, road transport, feedlot facilities throughout Australia and modern shipping.

The company’s flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux), is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe.  She was commissioned in 2002.

Two new, technologically advanced, purpose-built vessels, the MV Ocean Swagman and the MV Ocean Outback, were launched in 2010. They offer unparalleled levels of safety for the livestock, crew and vessel, and can transport 7000 cattle, 25,000 sheep, or a combination of both.

Wellard Agri owns and operates eight farms covering 33,000 hectares across three agri-hubs. The two northern hubs are located at Dongara and Watheroo in Western Australia’s central midlands and one is located at Kojonup in the Great Southern region of WA.

The Dongara hub is home to The Grange, a 14,500 hectare property which is considered one of Western Australia’s blue chip farming properties.

The remaining landholding totals more than 18,000 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares is cropped to a variety of grains and legumes. The other 4000ha is devoted to sheep production, including the famous Hyfield Poll Merino stud at Kojonup. In addition, Wellard leases an additional 14,500ha for livestock and grain production.

Wellard Agri also has operations in the farm machinery sector, through management of the CLAAS Harvest Centres at Katanning and Esperance for the Landpower range of farm machinery. 

 

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