RSPCA not ‘extreme’

The RSPCA has emphasised its defence of animal welfare, not rights, after allegations of extremism by farm organisations.

Concerns were raised by over 300 delegates at the annual New South Wales Farmers Association conference over the RSPCA’s role in monitoring livestock across the state.

The delegates passed a motion urging that the special-constable-status of the RSPCA be removed in regard to commercial livestock.

We flatly reject any suggestion the RSPCA NSW is biased or using our brand to drive an agenda…we are not an animal rights organisation,” RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said.

RSPCA Inspectors enforce existing animal protection legislation on behalf of the NSW state government.”

Separately to the inspecting role, the RSPCA works to promote uptake of husbandry and management practices, Coleman said. Continue reading RSPCA not ‘extreme’

Rough waters for AQIS as live export criticism continues

The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) has conceded a live exporter acted inappropriately when a stockman was not present on board a voyage from Fremantle to Singapore.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) said the report by the AQIS Accredited Veterinarian (AAV), Lloyd Reeve-Johnson, demonstrated that he was able, in conjunction with the crew of the vessel, to deliver the level of care that a stockman would have delivered as well as perform his other responsibilities.

Vets Against Live Export (VALE) has accused AQIS of coming to an illegal informal agreement with International Livestock Exports to remove Reeve-Johnson from the 2008 voyage. Continue reading Rough waters for AQIS as live export criticism continues

Bligh says govt acted before Hendra report

Anna Bligh.

Anna Bligh.

The Queensland Government had made significant changes to the way it handled Hendra virus outbreaks well before the ombudsman released a critical report, Premier Anna Bligh said.

Ombudsman Phil Clarke’s report highlighted inadequate communication between veterinarians and horse owners.

Clarke said systemic failures had hampered the Labor government’s response to six Hendra outbreaks between June 2006 and October 2009.

The report, released early this month, identified outdated policies and procedures, and overlapping legislation that led to inconsistent quarantine practices.

Training and resources for government agency staff, contractors and property owners were lacking.

Records of decisions made were also inadequate and there was a poor framework for compensation payments

Bligh said the report analysed how historic cases were handled, and ignored how government agencies had responded to the most recent incidents.

“They date back several years and there’s been a very significant shift in the way the matter’s being dealt with now,” she said.

“Nevertheless, when things like this happen you learn from it.”

Clarke found some Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries staff had imposed quarantines contrary to law, and were uncertain about what personal protective equipment to use and how to employ it.

The report dealt with 18 horses which died or were euthanased, two vets who died from Hendra, and a third vet who contracted the virus but recovered. Continue reading Bligh says govt acted before Hendra report