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All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : Export News Tasmania September 20, 2012, 10:33:30 PM

: Mid East live ex under pressure
: Export News Tasmania September 20, 2012, 10:33:30 PM
SHOCKING images of cruelty to livestock have again emerged on Australian television, this time showing the mistreatment of cattle and sheep at a facility in the Middle East. The footage was aired on ABC Television's 7.30 Report national current affairs program on Tuesday night and drew an immediate call from Animals Australia - the organisation behind last year's expose of animal cruelty in Indonesia - to suspend the live export of cattle and sheep to the facility in question.

The RSPCA has gone further, blaming the Australian Government and the live export industry for failing Australian animals and calling for live exporters to "hang their heads in shame".

Both organisations have called for an immediate tightening of the Federal government's Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), introduced in the wake of last year's export suspension of live cattle to Indonesia.

Australian Live Exporters Council chief executive Alison Penfold said the industry was "appalled" by the footage showing the mistreatment of mainly dairy and breeder cattle and has called on the Government to investigate the allegations.

In a statement responding to the program, Animals Australia said the images were not collected by animal activists, but livestock professionals working in the region who could no longer remain silent on the alleged atrocities.

The organisation's campaign director Lyn White said eye-witness accounts revealed that out of a shipment of 250 pregnant dairy cattle to a property in Qatar, more than 60 died appalling deaths from malnutrition and thirst and up to 7000 sheep exported to the same property from Australia earlier this year also died from malnutrition and heat stress.

The RSPCA said many of the pregnant females had calved within days of their arrival, demonstrating a serious breach of the Australian Standards for Exported Livestock (ASEL).
"Australians will rightly be horrified by this first-hand account of the terrible neglect of Australian exported animals in Qatar. There are just no excuses for the deplorable lack of care afforded to these animals," Ms White said.

"Tens of thousands of breeding animals including dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep were exported from Australia last year. There is nothing to stop them being slaughtered in the brutal way that Animals Australia documented during our investigation in Indonesia."

Ms Penfold said her organisation had no chance to view the images before they were screened on Tuesday.
"The husbandry practices shown are not typical of practices applied to Australian dairy and breeder cattle exported to the Middle East," she said.

"Typical husbandry practices for high value dairy and breeder cattle are supported through appropriate infrastructure that delivers the specific animal welfare needs of productive livestock including provision of appropriate nutrition, water and shelter."

RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil is demanding that the Australian Government immediately act to close what she has called "a glaring loophole in the live export supply chain" and to provide immediate protection for the tens of thousands of dairy and breeding animals being exported live every year to countries across the world.
Ms Neil said this was not done following the trade suspension to Indonesia because it was assumed by the Federal Government's Farmer inquiry into the affair that breeders would receive better protection than slaughter cattle due to their higher value.
"This evidence clearly shows that's not the case. Australian producers will again be horrified that the animals that they have raised and cared for have been treated so badly," she said.

"Australia's exported dairy and breeding livestock are our forgotten animals. Despite being some of the most vulnerable animals to export, once they get off a ship, they have absolutely no protection. Once more it has been shown how the live export industry cannot be trusted."
A spokesman for Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said the government officials were actively working on improving regulations for the export of breeder cattle.

"It was recommended by the Farmer inquiry that we start with slaughter cattle first and then move on to breeder cattle in the next phase, which is exactly what we are doing," the spokesman said.

"Animals Australia and the RSPCA both know this - I suspect they are just trying to use this situation to seek further publicity for their cause."
Ms Penfold said the live export industry was actively working with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to develop an Australian Government breeder policy in response to the Farmer inquiry recommendation. 
"We encourage an investigation of the allegations by the Government of the importing country and in addition encourage the Australian Government to provide any information they may have received to support an investigation," she said.   ( ( BY BRAD COOPER 20 Sep, 2012 (
: Re: Mid East live ex under pressure
: Export News Tasmania September 20, 2012, 10:35:59 PM
As always, Neil gives farmers too much credit. They don't give a toss about these animals.