Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Australia has still suspended livestock supply to some facilities in Việt Nam for investigation due to missing international animal welfare standards, said the Australian Embassy in Hà Nội.
While other facilities are able to receive Australian cattle, Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has begun a thorough investigation and directed exporters to suspend supply to 16 abattoirs and two feedlots in Việt Nam after having sufficient evidence that ESCAS control and traceability requirements and animal welfare requirements were not being met for Australian cattle at the facilities, Amy Guihot, agricultural counsellor from the Australian Embassy in Hà Nội told Việt Nam News via email.
Australia implemented the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) to ensure that exported Australian livestock are handled in accordance with international animal welfare standards and to provide a mechanism to deal with animal welfare issues when they occur.
"The suspensions at this stage apply only to the above mentioned facilities. Other ESCAS approved facilities in Viet Nam are still able to receive Australian cattle," the Australian Embassy said.
"The suspensions will remain in place until the investigation is complete or there is enough information available to make informed decisions about various supply chain participants, (including exporters, importers, facilities and independent auditors)," it said.
Tống Xuân Chinh, deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Husbandry Department, said the department would increase awareness on the standards while abattoirs must have a slaughtering certificate to meeting regulations of cattle exporting countries.
Meanwhile, the department and the Veterinary Department would work with Australia to get information about ESCAS for local businesses, abattoirs and feedlots, Chinh said.
Việt Nam has regulations on humane animal slaughter at the Law on Veterinary that came into effect from July 1, 2016. The law has general regulations so the state should have specific regulations like ESCAS and regulations on conditions for abattoirs.
The state should promote inspection and supervision of abattoirs and if the abattoirs having Australian cattle must ensure to meet ESCAS standards.
According to the Australian Embassy, Australia’s agricultural exports to Việt Nam were valued at US$2.1 billion in 2015, including $346 million from live cattle exports. – VNS