Author Topic: Animal welfare system 'works', despite new cruelty claims.  (Read 811 times)

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Animal welfare system 'works', despite new cruelty claims.
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 12:51:03 AM »
Proof live export reforms don't work?

 Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig would not disclose whether abattoirs featured in shocking new videos of animal cruelty in Indonesia process Australian cattle.

Responding to fresh footage of cruelty to cattle in Indonesian abattoirs, Senator Ludwig today said the new supply chain assurance system strict new animal welfare rules for exporters, introduced in the wake of last year's revelations of gross cruelty in Indonesia was working effectively.

An investigation was now under way into the fresh footage, he said.

''I have seen the footage and I think many in the community would be horrified by it,'' Senator Ludwig told ABC radio.

''We have to ensure animal welfare if this trade is to continue with a bright future.''

Investigators working for Animals Australia - the group that uncovered horrific cruelty to Australian cattle in May last year, prompting a one-month suspension of trade - shot footage at Jakarta abattoirs in late January.

The footage includes a slaughterman at Temur Petir stabbing at the face of a cow with a blunt metal file while the animal is in a restraint box. The animal jumps on to its hind legs as it attempts to climb out of the box.

Animals Australia says it is confident the abattoir is part of an accredited supply chain.

Senator Ludwig said the investigation would allow the regulator to remedy the problems including through better training of local staff.

''In incidents where they [problems] are beyond the pale, we can take very strong action,'' he said.

Senator Ludwig said the footage demonstrated the system worked, and if independent auditing discovered breaches it could put in remedial action to manage a supply chain.

''What's important to recognise is that many exporters manage the supply chain, do all the right things," he said.

"What I said right at the beginning when I put this system in place, we would see incidents likes this, we would see slips, we would see mistakes but the system allows us to take remedial action, work with the exports and fix the problem."

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has a bill before parliament to phase out live exports and require Australian slaughter standards be adhered to overseas, including mandatory pre-stunning before slaughter.

''I think this is bigger than the Minister, I think this reflects on the Australian government and reflects on the Prime Minister as the head of the Australian government. I said last year the government had lost its moral compass when it came to live animal exports, and the proof from the footage is that it hasn't found its moral compass,'' Mr Wilkie said.

Greens MP Adam Bandt, who also has legislation to end the trade, said the footage ''reinforces the folly of thinking that we here in Australia can control how every animal is killed overseas''.

''At a minimum the Minister must now guarantee that Australian cattle and animals that are being exported are being exported with the standards set in place, otherwise we have action without enforcement,'' Mr Bandt said.

He also said it should not be up to Animals Australia to uncover cruelty, rather the regulator should be more effective.

When asked if the Minister should be sacked, Mr Bandt said: ''I don't think the Minister has really covered himself with glory, this is a Minister who has been captured by the industry. The minister should be responsible for standing up for animal welfare.''

Animal welfare system 'works', despite new cruelty claims
Richard Willingham
February 29, 2012
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 04:07:04 PM by Export News Tasmania »