God forbid we offend the Saudis with a silly request for higher animal welfare standards. What does it say about an oil-rich Gulf country like Saudi Arabia when it indicates that it doesn't want to comply with supply chain assurances Australia is demanding before supplying, or that it doesn't want to be forced to comply with the requirements to meet the very low OIE standards which also makes up part of the ESCAS?
Saudi Arabia is already a member country of the OIE so what's the problem? Ego? Eliminating their ability to on-sell live animals if so desired? Or is it that animal welfare just isn't high on their list of priorities and they don't like that being pointed out?
We understand and appreciate that ESCAS is causing welfare issues for animals and hardship for producers, particularly in WA, but that could have been avoided had the government not rolled it though without consideration of the ramifications back here.
The solution is not to scrap ESCAS, the solution is for the government to more actively pursue alternative markets in the interim, whilst pursuing solutions to the reasons why producers currently have little-to-no domestic processing options. ESCAS is currently not protecting all animals exported from Australia, but it IS weeding out markets, which have a particular aversion to controls on the handling, slaughter and on-selling of animals... that's something at least.
Read article here.
Photo: Perth Now