Final Decision On Live Exports Prolongs Cruelty To Animals
July 12th 2012 07:26
Photo credit Animals Australia
“After eight months of waiting for a response to the Senate Inquiry, the government’s effort will do little to address the tidal wave of public concern about the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals in the live export trade” Senator Rhiannon said.
“This inquiry, prompted by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, opened up the live export trade to parliamentary scrutiny,” she said.
Hamstringing a cow (Photo credit Animals Australia)
Appalling images of kicking, eye gouging, the breaking or cutting off of tails, and the cutting of hamstring tendons so that the helpless animals cannot stand shocked the nation.
Just one month later, on the 6th of July, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig issued revised export control orders that reopened trade in live cattle with Indonesia.
Australian cattle bound for Indonesia (Photo credit Animals Australia)
At the time, Minister Ludwig said the appropriate standards to apply to the trade were those contained in the World Animal Health guidelines (OIE).
“These new orders allow the export of live cattle only where animals can be managed through supply chains that meet international standards,” Minister Ludwig said.
“They require exporters to trace cattle from properties, onto vessels, into feedlots and into abattoirs that meet agreed international standards.
Abused Australian steer being tortured (Photo credit Animals Australia)
Furthermore, OEI guidelines do not require pre-slaughter stunning and allow other practices which would be illegal in Australia. It is mandatory that cattle in Australia are stunned prior to slaughter, including those cattle for the halal-certified export market. In Indonesia less than 10% of cattle are stunned, meaning the vast majority are fully conscious when their throats are cut.
In response to the Senate Inquiry’s recommendations, the government said it will encourage the use of stunning in livestock export supply chains by formally raising the inclusion of stunning in the OIE guidelines, promoting stunning training through regional OIE forums and where possible, seeking bilateral agreements with our trading partners that include stunning.
Dodgy restraint box installed with Australian money (Photo credit Animals Australia)
The Senate Committee further recommended that the Chief Veterinary Officer oversees the effectiveness of their implementation but the Government disagreed. The Government merely acknowledged that the Chief Veterinary Officer may be called upon to review aspects of supply chains, including Mark IV boxes.
“This response rejects a recommendation, supported by Labor Senators on the committee, that the Chief Veterinary Officer oversee the effectiveness of Mark IV restraint boxes and assess their impact on the humane treatment of animals,” said Senator Rhiannon.
Australian steer collapsed on raceway (Photo credit Animals Australia)
“Palming off oversight to industry, rather than giving the power to the Chief Veterinary Officer, is a setback for animal welfare,” she said.
“Leaving LiveCorp and Meat and Livestock Australia in charge of standards for Mark IV restraint boxes is like leaving the prison keys with the inmates.”
“The live animal export trade is inhumane and brutally exploits animals. Thousands of jobs could be created by shifting to process more meat in Australia.”
“The policy of the Australian Greens is for the live export industry to end, (but) while the industry continues to trade, we want the highest possible animal welfare standard, which includes mandatory pre-slaughter stunning.”
“Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig will continue to feel the heat until the cruel live export trade is stopped and mandatory stunning introduced,” Senator Rhiannon warned.
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