You may have heard the upsetting news that two live animal exporters were recently found to breach 37 animal welfare rules. The exporters; North Australian Cattle Company Pty Ltd and International Livestock Export Pty Ltd were using approved supply chains, however, an investigation into their Indonesian abattoirs found that they were not meeting the set regulations. This highlights that the current system in place is not effective and not enough is being done by the Government to stop animal cruelty.
We are therefore very glad to see that Victorian MP, Kelvin Thomson is putting pressure on the Government to suspend or cancel the licences of these two exporters. His statement (below) illustrates that MPs can get behind this issue and support domestic processing rather than cruel live animal exports. With your support, we can encourage more MPs to take Kelvin’s viewpoint.
Friday 18th May 2012
Kelvin Thomson MP
Federal Labor Member for Wills
BREACHES OF ANIMAL WELFARE EXPORT STANDARDS
In my view 37 breaches is way too many and the two exporters should have their licences suspended or even cancelled.
The Department Deputy Secretary said if further animal welfare breaches occur they would face the possible loss of their export licence, but you have to wonder how many chances they get. When the trade was resumed last year after being suspended, the Government said the industry was on notice, so I think the public would expect that any exporters now found to be treating animals inhumanely would be run out of the industry.
Even more worrying for me than the question of penalty is the fact that it wasn’t industry self-regulation that brought these breaches to light, it was Animals Australia- Lyn White and her little video camera. You have to wonder whether we are really seeing the tip of the iceberg.
I think the only way we are going to ensure our animals are not being mistreated is to insist on mandatory stunning- that all animals are stunned before being killed. I further think we should be supporting proposals for the establishment of abattoirs in northern Australia, such as the Australian Agricultural Company proposal for Livingstone Valley south of Darwin, and transitioning away from live exports and into domestic processing, which is better for both animal welfare and for Australian jobs.
Kelvin Thomson MP