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Posted by on in Latest Info

Picture: one of the Australian cattle stabbed in the eyes.

Egypt 2013 AA

And here we go for Round 3.

The live cattle trade to Egypt was suspended in February 2006 after footage emerged showing Australian cattle having their eyes stabbed and rear leg tendons slashed to incapacitate them; the suspension was lifted in May 2009 after the construction of a state-of-the-art "closed loop" feedlot and abattoir and iron-clad assurances that animals would be well-treated.

In May last year, trade was suspended again after footage was supplied by an Egyptian vet, showing Australian cattle being stabbed in the eyes and having their rear leg tendons slashed to incapacitate them. There was also horrific footage of cattle being slaughtered in incorrectly operated full inversion slaughter boxes - these boxes are banned in Australia, USA and the UK because of the pain and trauma they cause the cattle.

Posted by on in Latest Info

Egypt sokhna AA

A BILL to ban live animal exports will be reintroduced in the Senate this week by the Australian Greens as the party ramps up calls to replace live ex with a boxed meat trade.
Read full article here.
Image: Animals Australia

Alison Penfold says they are “doing everything they can to put the assurances in place” – they most certainly are doing a lot of assuring of the Australian public that animal welfare is of the utmost importance, and they have voluntarily suspended trade to Egypt, but if THEY are doing everything they can, why is it never the industry – the exporters, the suppliers or DAFF that is exposing the cruelty and abuse – why are there no spot inspections, or monitoring of the facilities? How do they KNOW what standards are being met and how good the animal welfare is, if they’re never there to catch the breaches?

By Alison’s very own admission, they have suspended trade to a country to which we haven’t exported cattle in about 10 months; a country with which the live cattle trade is estimated to be worth $25 million – not a huge sacrifice in the scheme of things, but yes, it does make them sound pro-active, when in fact they are being very REactive.

No one is suggesting the trade be banned overnight – anyone who has a basic knowledge of the industry knows the kind of horrific domestic animal welfare problems and financial impact for producers that would arise with an overnight ban. We are calling for a phase out of live exports over a three to five year period – with assurances that the money, the work, the infrastructure, the labour – everything that is required to process locally is in place before shutting down this trade.

As for supplying a demand “While ever the customer demands live animals for their own protein needs, surely it's Australia - surely Australia should be doing what it can to service those needs.” The “if we don’t do it someone else will” is a lame argument to justify a trade that is intrinsically wrong and inherently cruel. If we don’t make money out of supplying drugs to schoolchildren, someone else will… the analogies are endless. What about saying “if we don’t set an example and say we do not accept this treatment of animals during their slaughter, we are in fact condoning it" – by continuing to supply animals for slaughter to markets that continue to abuse those animals, we are sending a message to the world that Australia condones this treatment.

It’s wrong on so many levels – YES, Australia has the space, capacity and the expertise to grow top quality animals for human consumption – why then would we cram then on a ship for two…three… up to five weeks, and send them off to countries which struggle to meet and often fail to meet even the very low OIE standards that we have mandated for the handling and slaughter of those animals? Why would we ship offshore all the jobs and value adding that is associated with the supply of those animals? Why would producers NOT want to see their animals they claim to care about so much, slaughtered in Australian abattoirs, to Australian standards, in the most humane way possible and where there are at least SOME measures in place to try to minimise their suffering, and see the profits and jobs stay in Australia?

The sheep prices fell in the West and the flock numbers rose because of the loss of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and any other traditional markets for the Dorpas and Damaras that refused to, or did not meet ESCAS requirements – this is why we would say that a chilled only trade supplies the producer with a much more reliable and consistent market – it is not influenced by the red tape of having to meet handling and slaughter standards in importing countries, it is not hampered by the whims, vagaries, egos, political processes or corruption of importing countries

How can a chilled meat trade worth $7 billion possibly not absorb a live trade worth less than $1 billion if the time, effort and money is put into developing viable domestic processing for the animals that are currently exported live? Yes – importing countries can have all the Australian animals they want, but they MUST go on the hook and not on the hoof.

In the end, the fact is, there can realistically be no control over the handling and slaughter of animals once they leave this country - we owe them more than this. How many isolated incidents make up an epidemic?

Katrina Love, Stop Live Exports

alison penfold
Alison Penfold of the Australian Live Exporters Council's interview on ABC's LateLine - interview here.



How do you enforce any welfare standards for beeeding stock in a country with no animal welfare laws, when those animals may realistically have up to ten years of 'use'?

Read article, with Animals Australia and RSPCA commentary here.

dairy-suffering-in-qatar-5

Both heavily pregnant Australian cows and calves died from malnutrition and heat strokein temperatures up to 50 degrees C in Qatar last year. Photo: Animals Australia

God forbid we offend the Saudis with a silly request for higher animal welfare standards. What does it say about an oil-rich Gulf country like Saudi Arabia when it indicates that it doesn't want to comply with supply chain assurances Australia is demanding before supplying, or that it doesn't want to be forced to comply with the requirements to meet the very low OIE standards which also makes up part of the ESCAS?

Saudi Arabia is already a member country of the OIE so what's the problem? Ego? Eliminating their ability to on-sell live animals if so desired? Or is it that animal welfare just isn't high on their list of priorities and they don't like that being pointed out?

We understand and appreciate that ESCAS is causing welfare issues for animals and hardship for producers, particularly in WA, but that could have been avoided had the government not rolled it though without consideration of the ramifications back here.

The solution is not to scrap ESCAS, the solution is for the government to more actively pursue alternative markets in the interim, whilst pursuing solutions to the reasons why producers currently have little-to-no domestic processing options. ESCAS is currently not protecting all animals exported from Australia, but it IS weeding out markets, which have a particular aversion to controls on the handling, slaughter and on-selling of animals... that's something at least.

Read article here.

Perth now live-sheep-trade

Photo: Perth Now

Posted by on in Latest Info

ANTI-live export lobby group Vets Against Live Export have released a media statement this morning claiming recent reports of cruel treatment of Australian animals overseas have deflected attention away from conditions aboard live export ships.

Read full article here.

Bader head height

Sheep fair worse on ships with inanition but better with floor conditions. Photo: K. Love

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