MAURITIUS – An animal rights group has submitted a complaint to the Australian Department of Agriculture (23 October) alleging breaches of animal health standards regarding Australian bulls in Mauritius.
Video footage has been released by Animals Australia showing Australian bulls in scenes the organisation has described as ‘violent’ and ‘tragic’ as they are handled for slaughter.
Animals Australia has called for sanctions for breaches of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) regulations for activities that Australian legislation would not allow.
"During the past month, the Department of Agriculture has been provided with extensive evidence showing Australian animals being subjected to shocking cruelty in Jordan and Mauritius - cruelty that would not have occurred had Australian laws been adhered to,” said Shatha Hamade, Animals Australia Legal Counsel.
She added: “It is clear that without strong regulatory sanctions exporters will not take their legal responsibility seriously.”
In response to material submitted by Animals Australia, the government has directed enquiries to the exporter for further information about the consignment.
Further government action hinges on whether the cattle subject to allegations were shipped subject to ESCAS regulations.
In a statement on 8 November the government said: “Small numbers of cattle are exported to Mauritius each year. ESCAS has applied to exports to Mauritius since 1 January 2013; there has only been one consignment of cattle exported to Mauritius under ESCAS arrangements.”
The Mauritius revelations are the latest in a series of animal welfare allegations also involving Jordan and Indonesia.
Animal Australia stated the cases of welfare are: “the most distressing evidence of cruelty to exported cattle documented since Indonesia.”