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Action Taken to Ramp Up Abattoir Inspections

13 February 2012

NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA - Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson has announced that the NSW Government will immediately ramp up random inspections of domestic abattoirs in NSW following the shut-down of slaughtering operations at a Western Sydney abattoir.

The NSW Government took swift action to suspend operations at the abattoir after the Food Authority received disturbing footage which showed gross mistreatment of animals at the facility.

"The NSW Government, like the people of NSW is horrified by the video footage of mistreatment of animals at this abattoir," Ms Hodgkinson said.

"Starting immediately, strict measures, including additional unannounced audits and inspections, will be ramped up to ensure all domestic abattoirs in NSW are aware of their responsibility to comply with standards under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) 1979 and the Food Regulation 2010.

"Animal welfare is a key requirement of abattoir operations and the meat industry has supported this with nationally accredited animal welfare training.

"The NSW Food Authority will today send a formal notice to all NSW domestic abattoirs, reminding them of their obligations and responsibilities in ensuring the humane treatment of animals.

"I want to assure the people of NSW that the NSW Government takes animal welfare very seriously.

"The action to immediately shut down this facility yesterday demonstrates that the NSW Government will not hesitate in taking swift and decisive action when it comes to gross mistreatment of animals.

"I have directed the NSW Food Authority to step up their random audits and inspections so that consumers and farmers have confidence in the operation of domestic abattoirs across the State.

"The investigation of the Wilberforce abattoir is progressing and I will receive a full report upon its completion," Ms Hodgkinson said.

The welfare of animals in NSW is protected under the POCTA and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation which are overseen by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Food Authority and the RSPCA will continue to work together to monitor and respond to issues of animal welfare in the State's abattoirs under the auspices of both POCTA and the Food Act.

The NSW Food Authority regulates abattoirs in NSW. All abattoirs operating in NSW are required to hold a licence and operate in accordance with the Food Regulation 2010. Abattoirs are required to comply with the NSW Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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