Author Topic: Department under fire over sheep slaughter footage 7.9.2012  (Read 739 times)

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Department under fire over sheep slaughter footage 7.9.2012
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 09:28:30 AM »
Department under fire over sheep slaughter footage 
  By Lexi Metherell  Updated Fri Sep 7, 2012

There are calls for the Department of Agriculture to be stripped of its responsibility for enforcing animal welfare, after footage emerged of sheep being inhumanely slaughtered at a non-approved meat market in Kuwait.

Advocacy group Animals Australia has released footage of what it says is Australian sheep being slaughtered at the Al Rai market in Kuwait City, a place banned under the Federal Government's new live export regulations.

Animals Australia says it shows parts of the industry are not conforming with the regulations, brought in after last year's live export furore over the treatment of cattle in Indonesia.
 
"In the photographs provided are merinos and merino crosses and Australia is the only country that supplies them to the Middle East," Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White told Lateline.

"They also have green ear tags in their left ear, which are Australian tags.
 
"This particular animal has its throat cut with a short knife, and I believe it's up to 24 times that that blade is cut across that animal's throat.

"That will have suffered an elongated, painful, terrifying death."

The Department of Agriculture has launched an investigation as a result of the footage.

"We've advised the government of Kuwait, and also the exporters that might be involved in this, of the existence of the information and we've commenced our information from that

point," department spokesman Phillip Glyde said.

 An Australian sheep is dragged along the road after being purchased in Kuwait. height=467 Photo: An Australian sheep is dragged along the road after being purchased in Kuwait. (Animals Australia) 

But Federal Labor backbencher Kelvin Thomson says he is rapidly forming the view that the department should not have the responsibility for animal welfare.

"It is a matter of concern for me that it's taken the efforts of Animal Australia to bring these breaches to the attention of the Government," he said.

"I'm increasingly of the view we should take responsibility for animal welfare out of the Agriculture Department altogether and put it somewhere else like the Department of Health."

Mr Thomson says the market is breaching the Government's new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

"I think that exporters who allow it should have their export licence taken off them," he said.
 
"And things like slaughter without stunning and slaughter with more than one cut in multiple non-stunned animals, all of these things are very serious breaches of the regulations and of proper animal welfare standards."

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie will table another bill next week to mandate that Australian livestock are stunned before slaughter overseas.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will not confirm whether the Greens will support it and maintains that live exports must end.

"We can have a win-win here. We can address the issue of the cruelty to the animals and also create tens of thousands of jobs in regional Australia by processing the meat in our country," she said.

Australian Live Exporters Council chief executive Alison Penfold declined to be interviewed while the investigation is pending, but told AM that the new ESCAS is working.

"ESCAS has helped to transform the way the wellbeing of animals through the export supply chain," she said.

"It's helped to raise standards, and the welfare processes and practices that sit behind the system continue to improve."


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-07/department-under-fire-over-sheep-slaughter-footage/4248224
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 09:30:03 AM by WA Export News »