Author Topic: Promises on live exports 'unrealistic'  (Read 648 times)

Export News Tasmania

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3017
  • Karma: +0/-0
Promises on live exports 'unrealistic'
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 02:42:42 PM »
It's impossible to guarantee that another  scandal involving live animal exports won't happen again but that's  no reason to shut down the trade entirely, industry experts say.Public concern over live exports was reignited this month after  footage emerged showing 21,000 Australian sheep being brutally  slaughtered - some buried alive - by Pakistani authorities.
The industry has voluntarily suspended sheep exports to Pakistan  as the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry  investigates what went wrong.

But the incident was the final straw for some Labor  backbenchers, the Australian Greens and animal welfare groups, who  have called for the industry to be phased out altogether.

Critics say neither exporters nor the federal government can  guarantee that another incident won't happen again.
Demanding that exporters guarantee animal welfare standards  abroad is akin to making pet shops in Australia ensure that cats  and dogs are treated properly by their subsequent owners, some  experts say.

Associate Professor Wayne Pitchford from the University of  Adelaide's school of animal and veterinary science says such a  black-and-white demand for a guarantee is 'totally unrealistic'.

'When you're selling things to other people you do not have that  level of control,' Prof Pitchford said on Wednesday.
'You can put mechanism in place to minimise it, but the bottom  line is we cannot guarantee it.'

That mechanism, the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System  (ESCAS), forces Australian exporters to ensure their trading  partners meet a range of animal welfare standards.

ESCAS was introduced last year after footage showing Australian  cattle being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs prompted public  outcry and a temporary ban on those exports.

Dr Rebecca Doyle from Charles Sturt University's school of  animal and veterinary science said ESCAS wasn't foolproof but it  wasn't to blame for the situation in Pakistan.

'It was beyond the importer-exporter relationship,' Dr Doyle  said.

'The Pakistani government actually stepped in, so really that  was completely out of the exporters' hands.'

ESCAS ensured animal welfare standards were met 'as close to  perfect' as possible, Dr Doyle said.

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has also defended ESCAS,  despite Trade Minister Craig Emerson, among others, declaring the  Pakistan cull was clear evidence of a 'spectacular' breakdown in  the system.

Prof Pitchford said wider forces involving local politics were  at play in Pakistan, factors nobody could predict or control.
'We don't have control over these things,' he said.

'I think things will go wrong again.'

The Greens and a number of Labor MPs are advocating a shift away  from live exports and are calling for the industry to be replaced  by domestic processing at facilities in northern Australia.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 02:44:13 PM by Export News Tasmania »