WHAT has been termed the world's most stringent live export regulations came into effect this week.
After disturbing footage of animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs was aired in 2011, the Federal Government on Tuesday introduced new animal-welfare standards known as the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said all Australia's live feeder and slaughter export markets were now covered by the reforms, cementing Australia's reputation as a world leader in animal welfare.
"The introduction of ESCAS across our entire live export trade means exporters will be required to ensure all animals exported for slaughter purposes are treated in line with international standards," he said.
"That means better animal-welfare outcomes as well as a sustainable long-term future for the billion-dollar-a-year livestock trade and the livelihoods that rely on it."
The standards regulate the treatment of livestock and sets a benchmark that requires exporters to take responsibility for the welfare of animals throughout the supply chain.
"ESCAS ensures transparency in the live export trade," Senator Ludwig said.
"The Government can hold exporters to account for the welfare of the livestock, and take action if required."