Author Topic: Complaint based on Animals Australia vision alleges cruelty to cattle in Egypt.  (Read 5080 times)

WA Export News

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New live ex complaint.   

 LIVE export industry members are moving to address a fresh crisis today (Friday), amid reports of an alleged complaint of animal cruelty towards Australian cattle in Egypt. 

Industry sources are saying exports have been voluntarily suspended to the facilities in question, effectively suspending all cattle exports to Egypt.
It’s understood the complaint is based on vision from Animals Australia which could also appear in television media at a later date, as per previous allegations.
A statement posted on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) website today has confirmed a complaint has been received about alleged animal welfare concerns in Egyptian abattoirs and is being investigated.
“As the regulator of the livestock export industry, DAFF has formally written to Egyptian authorities requesting an investigation in line with the Memorandum of Understanding on the Handling and Slaughter of Australian Live Animals between our two countries,” the statement said.
“DAFF has consulted with Egyptian officials and is pleased with the levels of cooperation offered.”
Animals Australia was contacted for comment by Fairfax Agricultural Media and the National Farmers Federation (NFF).
The NFF, Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council and Cattle Council of Australia are preparing a media statement and have spent the day addressing the issue urgently.
It’s understood Egypt has a closed loop export market where Australian cattle are not subject to the federal government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), implemented after the June 2011 suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia.
The cattle are unloaded by exporters directly into the feedlot facilities and then later moved onto adjacent slaughtering facilities, therefore removing the chance for any leakage from the system.
The facilities were inspected by the Australian government and deemed to be exempt from ESCAS due to the closed loop system.
The Egyptian embassy in Canberra issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to animal welfare and co-operation with the investigation.
Egypt’s ambassador to Australia Dr Hassan El-Laithy said his country “recognizes the fundamental importance of animal welfare”.
“As a matter of principle, Egypt respects, supports and applies animal welfare standards including the internationally established standards,” he said.
“Reports of a recent alleged incident of animal mishandling are being investigated.
“Egyptian authorities are working in close cooperation with Australian officials in both Egypt and Australia.
“At this stage, we need to verify the footage, to enable any further investigations to go ahead.
“If the footage can be verified, authorities will be able to deal with any breaches.”
The statement said Egypt is a signatory to the standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health and is a member of the Working Party of the OIE.
As a part of the international organisation managing animal welfare, Egypt is continually improving its animal handling facilities, it said.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and LiveCorp’s 2012 statistical report on the live export trade says 32,800 cattle were exported from Australia to Egypt in 2012 valued at about $24.5 million.
But it’s understood no cattle have been exported to the market since July last year due to a disagreement over protocols surrounding hormone growth promotants (HGPs).
Australian officials were reportedly seeking to explain to Egyptian officials that HGPs presented no impacts on human or animal health.
Industry sources say the latest batch of footage underpinning the complaint has already been viewed by MLA, LiveCorp and Cattle Council officials and is understood to be “damning”.
03 May, 2013