Author Topic: YET AGAIN- Footage of cruelty to Australian sheep in Middle East  (Read 699 times)

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YET AGAIN- Footage of cruelty to Australian sheep in Middle East
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 10:49:16 PM »
Footage of cruelty to Australian sheep in Middle East puts live export industry back in spotlight.

By the National Reporting Team's Dan Oakes - Exclusive  30.10.2013
 
New footage that appears to show serious mistreatment of Australian sheep in the Middle East has put the live animal export trade under fresh scrutiny.

The video was shot earlier this month by Animals Australia activists in various parts of Jordan and provided to the ABC.   Key points
  • Footage provide to ABC by Animals Australia appears to show mistreatment of Australian sheep
  • Video was shot in Jordan earlier this year
  • Animals Australia says 10,000 Australian animals were seen being sold outside the ESCAS welfare system
  • Only two Australian companies - Livestock Shipping Services and Wellard - export sheep to Jordan
 
It raises questions about the new system put into place in 2011 after the furore over the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs.

The footage shows sheep being sold individually and then slaughtered in the street and, in one case, in a private home.

Some of the sheep take some time to die after having their throats cut. In one case, it takes a man four attempts to cut the throat of a struggling animal.

Some sheep are dragged roughly by one leg to the place of slaughter, where they are killed next to the bodies of other sheep.

Other animals have stones thrown at them and some are sat on by children.

The footage also shows sheep being stuffed into car boots or the back of vans.Thousands of animals sold outside welfare assurance systemThe animals' distinctive appearance and ear tags identifying the farms some came from prove they are Australian, and several local people tell the Animals Australia activist on camera that the sheep are Australian.

The vision was shot during the festival of Eid Al-Adha, when many Muslims celebrate by slaughtering sheep and sharing the meat with the poor and needy.

After the ABC's Four Corners program exposed conditions in Indonesian abattoirs, the Federal Government introduced the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

That made livestock exporters responsible monitoring the treatment of their animals right up to the point of slaughter.

The exporter has to be sure the animals are handled in a way that adheres to international standards, which prohibit handling and slaughter in a way that causes undue stress to the animal.

There are only a small number of ESCAS-approved abattoirs in Jordan that stun animals before slaughter.  Read more about Australia's live export industry on the ABC Rural website 

Animals Australia's Lyn White told Lateline she saw more than 10,000 Australian animals being sold outside the system at 32 different locations during the two days she spent shooting the footage.

She said she also saw Australian sheep being sold at 26 outlets in June, and reported this to the Department of Agriculture.

"I believe that the Department actually instigated an investigation into these and considered them serious breaches," she said.

"It's the failure of the exporter to respond that I think has shocked the Department of Agriculture and the industry itself, who know that what is absolute contempt for the regulations is completely contrary to the
interests of the industry, let alone to the interests of Australian animals."Australian exporter says treatment of animals is 'unacceptable'There are only two companies exporting sheep to Jordan from Australia.

One of the companies, Livestock Shipping Services, told the ABC some of the animals in the footage came from farms the company buys livestock from, but others did not.

The company said the treatment of the animals was "unacceptable" and pledged to investigate how the sheep ended up being sold individually and slaughtered in the street.

The company also said it would cooperate with the Department of Agriculture's investigation into the matter, and claimed it had asked the Jordanian government to confiscate any Australian animals found "outside the supply chain" so it could determine their point of origin.

Wellard, the only other Australian company that exports live sheep to Jordan, said it had not exported any of the sheep in the footage.

"Wellard has viewed the footage and none of the sheep pictured were supplied by Wellard to our Jordanian customer," the company said in a statement.

"In addition, a post-Eid Festival ESCAS audit conducted by an independent, accredited auditor, and the reports from the large team Wellard sent to Jordan to assist our client with animal welfare both indicated that our
client's supply chain remained robust and that animal welfare was maintained."

The Department has confirmed the sheep in the footage were Australian but would not comment further.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is in Townsville for a conference of livestock exporters.

The ABC understands he will address the matter publicly on Thursday morning.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-30/new-footage-puts-live-export-industry-back-in-the-spotlight/5059060