Author Topic: Calls to ban export of live breeding animals 19.9.2012  (Read 1665 times)

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Calls to ban export of live breeding animals 19.9.2012
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 12:28:03 AM »
ASHLEY HALL: Animal activists and some federal politicians are calling for a ban on the export of breeding animals until the Australian Government can guarantee they'll be treated humanely.

Last night's 7:30 program showed video evidence of Australian sheep and cattle suffering from neglect on a farm in Qatar in the Middle East. Critics of the exports say further shipments of breeding animals should be stopped until strict animal welfare regulations are introduced.

Stephanie Smail reports.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Veterinary technician Deb Clark saw the mistreatment on the farm in Qatar first-hand. She says another shipment of breeding animals is due to leave Australia next month but it should be stopped.

DEB CLARK: If these animals leave next month they're going to their deaths literally, because there's nowhere for them to go, there are no structures or skilled workers there to look after them correctly. There is not even a ballcock and a trough, so there's no races, there's no yards and there's no veterinary crush to do any treatments whatsoever on any animals.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Stock expert Mark Cullimore visited the same farm.

MARK CULLIMORE: Quite a number of stock had died; sheep in their thousands have died through mismanagement, lack of facilities, water - just the basics that any farmer should know about. And I must really reiterate that before anything else is sent to these countries something has to be put in place where it's checked out before the stock is sent over.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Federal MP Kelvin Thomson says Australia has comprehensive rules surrounding the welfare of live animals exported for slaughter but not breeding animals.

KELVIN THOMSON: We are concerned at the lack of a set of standards in place, a protocol in place for the treatment of breeding animals once they are exported. We do have standards in place in relation to sheep and cattle and the like which are to be sent for slaughter. But in relation to breeding animals there is essentially nothing in place. This was touched on in the Farmer Review but we believe that this is a gap which needs to be filled and that standards do need to be set.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The Farmer Review is an independent assessment of Australia's live export trade. The Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says it's also raised concerns about the welfare of breeding stock being exported.

JOE LUDWIG: One of the recommendations was how we articulate and approach the question of whether there's a need for any additional conditions for the export trade in breeder livestock. I think the answer to that is yes because both industry and government have been working and will shortly present to me a final report about how we can manage the animal welfare issue. If we export animals we should have a way of ensuring animal welfare.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Federal MP Melissa Parke wants Mr Ludwig to halt all breeding shipments until the Farmer Review is finalised.

MELISSA PARKE: No more Australian animals should be sent to this importer in Qatar who has so shamefully treated these Australian breed of cattle. Secondly, no more breeding animals should be sent overseas until we have proper measures in place to protect them. Thirdly, serious violations of the supply chain assurance system should see exporters lose their licence.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Heather Neil from the RSPCA agrees.

HEATHER NEIL: Until such time as we do have a regulatory system in place and we know that facilities have a capacity to care for them, certainly animals should not be going back to the facility in Qatar that we've seen such terrible images about.

And animals should only go to other facilities where the Government can be very confident that the facility is adequate and the people running the facility have the capacity to care for them adequately.

ASHLEY HALL: Heather Neil from the RSPCA ending Stephanie Smail's report.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 11:15:25 PM by WA Export News »