Middle East Livestock Cruelty Draws Mixed Response

AUSTRALIA - Footage Of livestock mistreatment in the Middle East has raised concern across Australia. The Animal Australia organisation has called for a ban on all Australian livestock exports to the Middle East, but this action has been criticised by the Meat and Livestock Association, who claim that simply isolating the problem will not save it.
calendar icon 17 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Delivering an animal welfare course to Government Veterinary Officers in Cairo, Egypt

The Australian livestock export industry, including exporters, producers and the farming families and communities that invest in animal welfare, find any cruelty to animals unacceptable.

Poor animal handling practices are a serious concern to the livestock export industry, as they would be to the Australian community.

Animals Australia has released to the media select footage highlighting isolated instances of serious mistreatment of non-Australian animals and poor handling of Australian animals in the Middle East. Their agenda is to close the trade – regardless of the cost to ongoing improvements to animal welfare in the region or those Australian regional and rural communities reliant on the trade.

What the footage doesn’t show is the work a team of dedicated Australian animal welfare experts is doing across the Middle East to improve animal welfare for not only Australian livestock, but local animals and animals imported to the region from other countries.

Animals Australia has chosen not to work with industry to improve animal welfare in the Middle East. This animal activist group continues to ignore the good work and positive animal handling practices that occur every day in the Middle East, implemented and sustained by the Australian animal welfare experts working on the ground across the region.

Australia is the only country in the world actively working in the Middle East to improve animal welfare – if they are not in the Middle East the rate of progress and improvement in animal welfare will slow, or worse, stop.

If Australia ceased to supply livestock to the Middle East, livestock would be sourced from other countries without the resources or motivation to improve practices and facilities.

Australia is the world leader in improving animal welfare standards in the Middle East - this is something they should be proud of, and something that should be encouraged – not attacked.

The Australian livestock export industry invests significant resources into improving animal welfare both domestically and overseas, including:

  • Around $2 million invested in a research and development portfolio;
  • Australian animal welfare specialists based in the Middle East who provide practical training to veterinarians and stockmen on how to work with Australian animals
  • Upgrades to infrastructure such as feedlots, abattoirs and port facilities
  • Joint initiatives with local governments including animal welfare taskforces
  • Regular inspection and assessment of ships, ports, trucks, abattoirs and feedlots
  • Assistance with discharge of animals from vessels

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