Author Topic: Strip DAFF of animal welfare oversight: Labor MP 7.9.2012  (Read 778 times)

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Strip DAFF of animal welfare oversight: Labor MP 7.9.2012
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 02:26:46 PM »
Strip DAFF of animal welfare oversight: Labor MP

Lexi Metherell reported this story on Friday, September 7, 2012
TONY EASTLEY: A Federal Government backbencher has called for the regulation of live exports to be taken out of the hands of the Agriculture Department after more evidence emerged pointing to the abuse of Australian livestock overseas.

The advocacy group Animals Australia says last month it filmed Australian sheep being sold and slaughtered in a non-approved meat market in Kuwait City.

It's complained to the Department of Agriculture which has launched an investigation.

Labor MP Kelvin Thomson says he's coming to the view that the department shouldn't have responsibility for animal welfare.

Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: Animals Australia has released footage which it says shows Australian sheep being abused in Kuwait.

In one section of the footage showing the slaughter of a sheep, it says the blade is drawn across its throat up to 24 times.

It says another part of the footage shows sheep jammed into a small pen.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN FROM FOOTAGE: See those, the ones that are sending and panting, they're not handling the heat very well.

LEXI METHERELL: Animals Australia says the footage demonstrates parts of the industry aren't conforming with the Government's new export regulations which were brought in after last year's live export furore over the treatment of cattle in Indonesia.

It says the images were filmed at the Al Rai meat market in Kuwait City, which is banned under the new regulations.

The Department of Agriculture says it's begun a thorough investigation which is expected to take some weeks.

But Labor backbencher Kelvin Thomson has questioned that department's fitness for the task.

KELVIN THOMSON: Well it is a matter of concern to me that it's taken the efforts of Animals Australia to bring these breaches to the attention of the Government. I'm increasingly of the view that we should take responsibility for animal welfare out of the agriculture department altogether and put it somewhere else like the Department of Health.

LEXI METHERELL: Why do you say that?

KELVIN THOMSON: Well in this case there are serious allegations concerning the selling and slaughter of animals outside the approved supply chains. That is a breach of the new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System. I think that exporters who allow it should have their export licence taken off them.

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.

LEXI METHERELL: The Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie will next week table another bill to mandate that Australian livestock are stunned before slaughter overseas.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon won't confirm whether the Greens will support it. She maintains live exports must end.

LEE RHIANNON: 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.

LEXI METHERELL: Alison Penfold is the chief executive of the Live Exporters Council.

She declined to answer questions about the Kuwait investigation but told AM the new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System or ESCAS is working.

ALISON PENFOLD: ESCAS has helped to transform the way the wellbeing of animals through the export supply chain. It's helped to raise standards and the welfare processes and practices that sit behind the system continue to improve.

TONY EASTLEY: Alison Penfold from the Live Exporters Council ending Lexi Metherell's report.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 01:48:04 PM by WA Export News »