Damning report confirms live export failures

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 18 May 2012

Two Australian live export companies have been found guilty of breaching new live export rules in Indonesia in what the Australian Government investigation has concluded represents “a systemic loss of control over animal welfare."

The investigation was a response to the release of shocking video evidence provided by Animals Australia in February this year, in which animals believed to be Australian, were taunted, stabbed in the face with a sharpening tool, and cut-up before they were confirmed dead.

International Livestock Exports and North Australian Cattle Company have been shown to be responsible for 37 breaches of new animal welfare standards.

Animals Australia Campaign Director, Lyn White, said despite Minister Ludwig’s insistence today that the system is working, the findings of the report overwhelmingly revealed a system that cannot and will not protect the welfare of Australian animals.

“One of the slaughterhouses in question had only passed an audit a few months prior to the cruelty being documented. This is despite that abattoir’s ‘standard operating procedures’ not even meeting government requirements.

“These are not teething problems. They reveal a fatally flawed system that is reliant on irregular third party audits that are paid for by the exporter — this is not an auditing system that can be deemed independent and therefore relied upon."

Animals Australia applauded the thoroughness of the government’s investigation but said what it confirmed was that this was still an industry that for all intents and purposes was self-regulating and that as a result dire risks to animals remained.

“The bottom line is that these breaches of the new system would not even have been identified and investigated were it not for Animals Australia investigators continuing to scrutinise this trade, so how can the government suggest that this new system is working.

“Despite assurances that the days of self-regulation were over — the government continues to have no day to day oversight of the operation of a trade that it supports and endorses — a trade that time and again has shown its preparedness to put profit before welfare."

A regulatory system that depends on a charity to be its watchdog, and on exporters to monitor themselves, is not a system that either producers or the community can have any confidence in.

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