Live Export Shame

All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : Export News Tasmania June 07, 2012, 07:22:33 PM

: Activists overshadow welfare work
: Export News Tasmania June 07, 2012, 07:22:33 PM
MEAT and Livestock Australia (MLA) says the dedicated and effective work of professionals to improve animal welfare in countries to which Australia exports live animals has been overshadowed by the claims of activists determined to shut down the trade.Reflecting on controversial events of the past 12 months in the live export industry and the claims made about his organisation by Animals Australia and other groups, MLA managing director Scott Hansen pleaded for more informed understanding about his organisation’s role within the industry and its performance.

Mr Hansen said for many years Australian stockmen and veterinarians had worked in Indonesia and other countries to improve animal welfare. The majority were funded by cattle and sheep producers - through their marketing and research services company MLA.

He said while they won't get the press profile of some activists who visit the market “with a camera in hand” they had been duly recognised by the independent reviewers who had conducted inquiries on behalf of the Australian government.

Mr Hansen said the Independent Review of the Live Export Trade by former Indonesian envoy Bill Farmer (established in response to the animal cruelty issues raised in the ABC Four Corners program on May 30 last year), stated: “The activities of MLA and the operation of the Live Export Trade Animal Welfare Program have led to improvements”.

“Based on the Review’s visits and observations in markets in the Middle East and South-East Asia, it is evident that significant animal welfare gains have been achieved in some markets with a longstanding Australian export presence, including through MLA's regional representation and Australian investment in animal welfare improvements.

“The Review was impressed by the professional commitment to improving animal welfare conditions shown by MLA employees,” the Review stated.

Mr Hansen said the reviewers acknowledged the work of cattle and sheep producers’ service company staff and MLA staff in improving animal welfare in foreign countries.

He noted information and reports relating to this work had always been publicly available, “contrary to some claims”.

Mr Hansen said the government's new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) had provided a regulatory driver to hasten the compliance to international animal welfare standards.

He said MLA-funded animal welfare experts in Indonesia were invited by many exporters and Indonesian importers to assist them in meeting the new requirements.

“It is important to remember that MLA is a service provider - it is not a government agency and has no regulatory powers and does not buy or sell any animals,” he said.

“The dedicated professionals, who continue to be invited into facilities night after night in Indonesia, are armed with nothing more than their expertise and desire to try to influence the way in which animals are handled in a foreign country.

“They are the ones who step in when they see poor handling - not to take photos, but to stop it and try to educate the handlers on different handling approaches.
“In my eyes these are the people who are truly dedicated to improving animal welfare.”

Animals Australia has called for the MLA to pay compensation to live exporters and cattle producers who suffered financial damage from the suspension – in lieu of the federal government, who the claims are against.

The animal rights group also claimed MLA were aware of the routine slaughter situation in Indonesia and failed to advise producers of the risks that their animals would face. Animals Australia investigator Lyn White said MLA installed the 102 Mark I restraint boxes, which facilitated much of the cruelty in Indonesia - and which have now been banned.

“They were the organisation which betrayed the trust of the producers and at whose door responsibility firmly lies,” she said.

BY COLIN BETTLES 07 Jun, 2012 (http://)

: Re: Activists overshadow welfare work
: Export News Tasmania June 07, 2012, 07:33:12 PM
There was nothing 'independent' about the Farmer Review, it had no focus on animal welfare and every focus on farmer and exporter welfare.
: Re: Activists overshadow welfare work
: WA Export News June 07, 2012, 09:34:45 PM
Seems to us that if there were no issues then there would be no need for animal welfare advocates...

If the industry has nothing to hide then why try to stop animal advocates from seeing what is going on? Further..if there is nothing adverse happening- nothing to hide then there would be no reason for animal welfare advocates to exist.
: Re: Activists overshadow welfare work
: Export News Tasmania June 09, 2012, 05:34:29 PM
Why should these people get paid compensation by anyone? All businesses in this country have to operate subject to government policies including as they change, and within a framework of community expectations. What makes these parasites any different? If the government throws any more taxpayers' dollars at them, that is a disgrace. But if anyone should have to pay them anything, it's MLA.