Author Topic: Vic saleyards to lead animal welfare push 14.12.2011  (Read 6155 times)

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Vic saleyards to lead animal welfare push 14.12.2011
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 02:29:16 PM »
EXCLUSIVE: VICTORIAN saleyard operators will lead the way reforming animal welfare standards.

 Victoria will push ahead and make changes to the current rules before any national agreement.

A meeting of industry groups in Melbourne on Monday decided to immediately review the current codes of practice for animal welfare in saleyards.

The group, which included the Livestock Saleyards Association of Victoria, the Department of Primary Industries and the Victorian Farmers Federation, also formed a reference group to assess current practices.

Currently, there is a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Saleyards - Victoria, known commonly as the "brown book".

However, not all saleyards adhere to this code, which was last reviewed in 2002.

The reference group will review the current code of practice and others in use, with the aim of coming up with a common version to be used in the 30 saleyards across Victoria.

LSAV executive officer Mark McDonald, who convened the think-tank, said Monday's meeting was "positive and proactive".

"The industry needs to move forward and tackle animal welfare in a co-ordinated way," Mr McDonald said.

And while a nationwide standard was considered ideal, Mr MacDonald said Victoria planned to go it alone, as national agreement would take "too long".

He said the reference group would involve industry members, but the LSAV also planned to approach animal welfare organisations to see if they want to be involved.

"We need to understand that things change and community expectations change and we need to move with the times," he said.

Mr McDonald said saleyards like Bendigo and Ballarat were under constant scrutiny from animal welfare groups, yet their presence should not be seen as a threat.

"We hope to be able to work with legitimate animal welfare groups as they reflect the community's standards," he said.

Cattle Council of Australia chief executive David Inall said no one at the meeting wanted to "make excuses" and seemed sincere in their wish to tackle animal welfare issues.

And he said Victoria was wise to go it alone, rather than wait for a national code of practices, which could take "years".

Fiona Myers |  December 14, 2011
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 02:32:26 PM by WA Export News »