RSPCA’s fears government ‘hands-off’ approach to live exports

Animal welfare groups are calling on the federal government to resist efforts to “water down” regulation of the live export industry.

In a submission to the LGAP (Livestock Global Assurance Program) Committee, RSPCA Australia said new proposals from industry would lead to self-regulation and less government oversight of an industry which has seen serious breaches in animal welfare.

RSPCA Australia’s Senior Policy Officer Jed Goodfellow, said the submission to the Committee had raised concerns over the implications of the “government hands-off” proposals from the industry.

“The LGAP process is industry-driven and funded,” he said.

“It has been promoted on the basis that it is ‘independent of government’ and may appease foreign markets that have opposed the current Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).”

LGAP describes itself as a joint research project that is “focused on developing a global conformity assessment program that protects the welfare of animals and fosters continual improvement and the attainment of best practice.”

Goodfellow said the industry needs to answer some questions regarding claims that LGAP would operate independent of government. Continue reading RSPCA’s fears government ‘hands-off’ approach to live exports

Cruelty footage fires further VALE-DAAF stoush

Cattle bodies in a slaughterhouse.

Image: Thomas Bjørkan

The war of words between Vets Against Live Export (VALE) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAAF) has intensified after the December broadcast of footage showing cattle being cruelly treated by an Israeli abattoir on the ABC’s 7.30 Report.

An investigation by an Israeli journalist revealed that animals at the Bakar Tnuva abattoir were subjected to cruel applications of electric goads to the head, rectum and genitals.

Additional footage showed the dragging of a cow across a concrete floor by its forelimb on a forklift, the repeated punching of a cow in a crush, poor sheep handling and unstunned slaughter.

VALE veterinary behavioural consultant, Kate Lindsey, analysed the footage and said the appearance and behaviour of the cattle is consistent with severe physical and psychological stress.

A consistent finding in the footage was that the downer cows were alone,” Lindsey said.

Cattle are a prey species that form cohesive groups. Being on their own is highly stressful for most cattle. Continue reading Cruelty footage fires further VALE-DAAF stoush