Indonesian abattoirs in Lateline footage were on approved list: DAFF report
The Department of Agriculture investigation into this year's footage of animal cruelty in four Indonesian abattoirs, recommends action be taken against two exporters - North Australian Cattle Company (NACC) and International Livestock Export (ILE).
The Department will today release its report into animal cruelty filmed by Animals Australia and shown on ABC TV's Lateline in February this year.
It finds that, of the four Indonesian abattoirs in the footage, two were approved under the Government's welfare system.
That's known as the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, or ESCAS, brought into effect after the suspension of the trade last year when 4 Corners aired its investigation.
Today's report on this year's footage finds that the cattle shown at one of two approved abattoirs were certainly Australian, and cattle at the other most likely were too.
The Department says there were no Australian cattle in the two unapproved abattoirs shown in the footage.
It's for the regulator, the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, to decide what action should be taken against NACC and ILE.
Assistant secretary at the Department, Phillip Glyde says neither company will have their export licence suspended.
But they will now be subject to tighter controls and auditing through the supply chain.
"The action that the regulator has taken is to remove those two abattoirs from the supply chain of the two exporters," he says.
"The second thing was to require those two exporters to have animal welfare officers present in all of their remaining abattoirs in their supply chain.
"The third thing was to increase the intensity of auditing of the supply chains of these two exporters."
The Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig left the regulator to comment on the detail of the report and its recommendations.
But he says the report's findings are evidence that cruel treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia will not be tolerated.
Senator Ludwig says the actions imposed by the regulator should be a "wake-up call" to those who don't take the Australian Government's position seriously.
"This new system provides the checks and balances the community expects for this trade to continue," he says.
"And producers, and I know because I've talked to many of them, take the welfare of their livestock seriously.
"What we now have is a system which, for the first time, [gives] producers visibility across the supply chain, from exporters right through to slaughter yards in overseas markets, so they can manage their business risks."
Two other exporters initially indentified by the Department as possibly being linked to the video footage have now been cleared.
DAFF has found that Australian Rural Exports (Austrex) and Wellard Rural Exports did not have cattle in the relevant supply chains when the footage was taken.
Elders, which owns NACC, and the Australian Live Export Council, told ABC Rural they had no comment to make before the report was released.
ILE didn't respond by deadline.
Animals Australia said it was unaware of the findings of the report.
By Anna Vidot