We are reserving judgement on this until we see who is appointed to the role, the background they have, the connections they have the vested interests they have and of course, what power to affect change they have. Straight off though, we have to say this is a poor version of the promised Independent Office of Animal Welfare that was promised.
The producers and exporters won't support anything that increases welfare requirements and therefore further restricts the markets they have access to, and we won't support another token toothless tiger who has no real power to tangibly reduce the suffering that animals in this trade must endure.
We know that the only way to seriously change welfare outcomes for the millions of animal victims of this trade, is to phase it out in favour of an expanded, chilled only trade.
Agricultur Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon. Photo: abc.net.au
Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, to whom this position would report, has been quoted as saying
"The wider community understands how important the live export trade is to Australia, and our economy, and install the confidence that we do have the best animal welfare standards in the world."
Really Joel? In FACT, the wider community understands that this is an outdated, unreliable and barbaric trade in suffering that is inherently cruel for the animals and risky for the producers. If we can save animals that will continue to be slaughtered for human consumption at LEAST the rigours of weeks at sea and having their throats cut whilst fully conscious (for most), why wouldn't we?
WHO exactly... which members of "the wider community" are supporting putting them on ships for weeks and sending them to countries where there are no laws, regulations, standards or codes of practice to offer them any protection during handling and slaughter? We'd love to know.
Link to article here