Author Topic: Advocates uncovered breaches, not govt auditors. Govt inept. Industry cruel.  (Read 985 times)

WA Export News

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Exporters face action on cattle cruelty film.

 TWO Australian live cattle exporters have been found to have broken new animal welfare rules in Indonesia, imposed after a cruelty controversy last year.

In February Animals Australia - the group that uncovered cruelty to Australian cattle in Indonesia last May, prompting a trade suspension and strict welfare requirements on exporters - handed footage it shot of alleged abuse in abattoirs to the Agriculture Department.

The footage showed a slaughterman at a Jakarta abattoir stabbing at the face of a cow with a blunt metal file while it was in a restraint box.

An investigation found breaches occurred at two abattoirs that were part of "approved supply chains" which exporters must have independently audited to ensure animal welfare rules are met. Results of the investigation will be released this morning.

Investigators said cattle at one of the slaughterhouses were Australian, while at the other it was "highly likely" they were Australian.

The investigator recommends "regulatory action" against two exporters - the North Australian Cattle Company and International Livestock Export (ILE) - for using an approved supply chain that included abattoirs where breaches occurred.

Sanctions range from five years' jail and suspension of licences to fines, but is most likely to involve extra conditions on export licences.

ILE was involved in a 2003 debacle in which more than 5000 sheep died on a ship, the Cormo Express, which was refused entry to Middle Eastern ports.

The Australian reported in March that two senior directors were charged and acquitted of animal cruelty charges in Western Australia in 2008.

Animal rights groups are likely to use the report as further evidence the live export industry cannot be trusted to protect animals. They are likely to point out that it was activists that uncovered breaches, not government auditors.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said the report showed the new system provided the checks the community expected for the trade to continue.

"The fact that some exporters do not meet the standards we require should not overshadow the progress that many in the industry have made to date," Senator Ludwig said.

RSPCA chief scientist Bidda Jones provided a report to the department in February that identified, from the video, dozens of breaches.

These included failing to check an animal is dead before processing its body, keeping the animal in restraint for too long, and interfering with wounds after the throat is cut.

Richard Willingham
May 18, 2012
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 01:28:31 AM by WA Export News »