More attempts by Government to downplay animal cruelty

RSPCA Australia is appalled at the Government’s latest ploy to mislead the Australian public by stripping bare its reports into breaches of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

The new-style ‘ESCAS Regulatory Performance Report’ released overnight scarcely resembles the Government’s previously detailed and comprehensive reports. Instead each of the seven separate investigations into the mistreatment of animals is restricted to a mere half-page of sanitised information.

While previous reports into breaches of ESCAS had contained up to twenty-four pages of crucial evidence, the Government is now presenting the absolute bare minimum.

Preceding reports contained details and information including:

  • How the investigations were conducted
  • The investigation findings
  • The assessment of evidence and information provided by both the complainant and the export companies involved
  • The regulatory action taken by the Government
  • Report conclusions

“The latest ESCAS investigation reports have been drained of all meaningful information and this new format is clearly intended to present the live export industry in the best possible light,” said Dr Bidda Jones, RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist.

“The RSPCA cannot be confident that any supply chain is ‘incident-free’ when all animals are not accurately traceable to the exporter and we are reliant on animal protection organisations to bring serious breaches to light. The likelihood is that these incidents are only the tip of the iceberg.

“ESCAS was promised as a system that would deliver transparency to the public about the treatment of Australian animals exported live for slaughter and yet these reports seem to sweep critical information under the rug.

“This new style of releasing information to the public highlights the fundamental conflict between the Government’s dual roles as regulator and promoter of the live export industry.

“The Australian community has made it clear they won’t have the wool pulled over their eyes when it comes to the treatment of Australian animals overseas and the Government would be foolish to think otherwise.”