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Australia Remains Committed to Live Export Animal Welfare

07 November 2012

AUSTRALIA- The Australian livestock industry is united in their condemnation of the cruel and inhumane treatment of Australian livestock, but continues to support the robust and reformed Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System and international livestock trade.

A recently aired ABC Four Corners documentary highlighted poor conditions under which Australian sheep were kept and slaughered.

A The conditions under which this cull of healthy Australian sheep was performed are extremely distressing and appalling, which is why the livestock export industry has already taken decisive action to voluntarily suspend exports of sheep to Pakistan and Bahrain, said the Ministry of Agriculture.

The incident in Pakistan was unprecedented and occurred under exceptional circumstances, and a full investigation is currently being undertaken by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Minister of Agriculture, Joe Ludwig said: "What occurred in Pakistan was an isolated incident and not reflective of the trade as a whole."

The community has legitimate expectations about animal welfare, and Government and industry has taken significant steps to address them.

One recent action is an examination of the footage as part of the investigation looking into the mistreatment of the animals.

Mr Ludwig reassures that animal welfare is at the heart of the country's trade.

Australia leads the world in animal welfare practices – especially in the live export trade.

More than 1.5 million animals have been exported to live export markets under Australia’s new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System that puts animal welfare at the heart of the trade.

Dale Park, President of the Western Australia (WA) Farmers Federation agrees with the stance of the department.

"Minister Ludwig has done a significant amount of work on behalf of industry to overcome recent obstacles to the trade and for this WAFarmers is very grateful."

Mr Park stresses the importance of exports to the WA region.

“Western Australian agriculture relies on live export and WAFarmers will be doing everything possible to ensure the future of the industry is strong and the high animal welfare standards currently in place are maintained.”

Most importantly, adds Mr Ludwig, the welfare of animals is of paramount concern to the Australian livestock production and export industries. Australia is the only country, of more than 100 countries across the world that export livestock, which actively works in overseas markets to help improve animal welfare conditions.

If Australia was to stop exporting livestock, global animal welfare standards would unquestionably decline, he said.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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