Grandin’s advice for Australian live export industry

AVA Annual Conference, 28 May 2013,  Cairns Convention Centre.Livestock slaughter expert Temple Grandin has recommended abattoirs install video surveillance to reduce cruelty.

Grandin was in Cairns recently to address the AVA conference, and she told Bush Telegraph that Australia should have more power to monitor slaughter facilities abroad when engaged in live exports.

She said companies such as Cargill Incorporated and JBS have video in U.S. plants where footage can be accessed on the internet at any time.

Live export conditions remain topical, and ships to Egypt were recently suspended following the release of brutal slaughter footage by animal welfare activists.

AQIS-accredited veterinary surgeon Lloyd Reeve-Johnson said Grandin’s suggestion of web-cam based monitoring becomes realistic if one considers minimal public trust in the current system and its “repeated failures” to prevent major welfare issues.

“The initial reaction of many in the industry may be that her suggestion is unworkable or an unnecessary expense,” he said.

“If a sceptical public is ever to be convinced that live animal export is necessary for economic of other reasons, measures beyond the ordinary such as constant web-cam surveillance with independent expert oversight could benefit not only the welfare of millions of animals, but the trade itself.”

Reeve-Johnson said the same idea could be applied to shipboard conditions with intermittent satellite feeds of video footage and displays monitoring ammonia, temperatures, humidity and other variables to counter potential human selectivity in placement of sensors or reporting.

He added that the footage would “only supplement” the introduction of independent shipboard veterinary oversight who are not directly employed by exporters. Continue reading Grandin’s advice for Australian live export industry

Live export vessel veterinarian reports injuries, standards breaches

tightly stockedThe recent mistreatment of Australian animals overseas has been the source of much consternation in recent months, deflecting attention from conditions on live export ships.

A veterinarian who has spent 13 years working on live export voyages has made a submission to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) review in to Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), which alleges that some in the industry are more concerned with profits than animal welfare.

Lynn Simpson, who has been an accredited on-board veterinarian for 57 live export voyages, as well as having peripheral feedlot, loading and transportation experience, described the suffering of animals resulting from exporters allegedly ignoring the law.

“It should be appreciated that these voyages are not all short and clean as depicted by industry and their public relations machine,” she said. Continue reading Live export vessel veterinarian reports injuries, standards breaches