New live export animal welfare investigation underway

New live export animal welfare investigation underway

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Protests against the live cattle export trade are not unusual in Australia.

Protests against the live cattle export trade are not unusual in Australia.

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Animals Australia files complaint to Department of Ag, with footage

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AN investigation is underway into new footage of Australian cattle allegedly being mistreated in two Indonesia slaughterhouses during the recent Eid al Adha festival.

Animals Australia on Friday lodged a complaint with the Department of Agriculture relating to breaches of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System it says occurred in Aceh, Indonesia.

ESCAS is the assurance system which makes animal welfare guarantees a condition of the trade of live Australian animals. It was introduced following the release of shock footage of mistreatment in Indonesia in 2011, which also led to a ban on the trade for some time.

The Department has nowcontacted all live cattle exporters to Indonesia requesting further information.

Animals Australia has not released the footage to the media.

Chief Executive Officers Glenys Oogjes said that Australian cattle in Indonesia were still being killed via the banned Mark I boxes and roping slaughter should be of grave concern to all in the cattle industry.

"It was deeply disturbing that slaughter practices exposed in 2011 are still being used in 2020, despite the existence of ESCAS," she said.

"It is very clear that until regulatory sanctions for breaches of ESCAS incur licence suspensions, this system will not effectively protect animals from brutal treatment."

The live trade's representative body has strongly condemned the actions depicted in the footage.

Australian Live Exporters Council chief executive officer Mark Harvey-Sutton said the footage of the non-compliant slaughter was distressing, unacceptable and not appropriate treatment of Australian livestock.

"Exporters take any breach of ESCAS extremely seriously and have been reviewing the footage and all the information provided by the regulator to address these allegations," he said.

Australian exporters of cattle to Indonesia are now reviewing their supply chains.

Exporters had a genuine care for the livestock in their supply chains, they acted quickly to investigate, working closely with importers and in market teams, a statement from ALEC said.

"The industry is regulated and there are systems in place to make any necessary decisions to stop future non-compliance," Mr Harvey-Sutton said.

"Under ESCAS exporters can identify breaches and if necessary, remove offending facilities from their supply chains.

"Never has the maintenance of international trade been more important and to show respect for our longstanding relationship with Indonesia and our producers."

The story New live export animal welfare investigation underway first appeared on Farm Online.

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