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28 October 2011

The cruel slaughter of 250,000 animals every year will continue in Australia after Primary Industries Ministers today shirked a decision that could have removed religious slaughter exemptions.

The RSPCA said the non-decision was completely unacceptable and would dismay the public who were shocked to discover that un-stunned slaughter was occurring in Australia in the first place.

“There is no excuse for delaying this decision. There have been at least two years of consultations and all parties have made their positions clear,” said RSPCA Australia Scientific Officer, Melina Tensen.

“The government knows this is a sensitive issue and their way of dealing with it is to ignore it and hope it goes away. If ministers are indeed insisting on further consultation then the RSPCA is calling for no further exemptions to be provided for religious slaughter while it is being contested.

“These ministers have at hand the overwhelming evidence that cutting the throats of conscious animals is cruel and causes significant pain and suffering. 99% of animals are already stunned in Australia - stunning is accepted by the Islamic community and the Jewish community accepts the stunning of cattle. There is no reason for un-stunned slaughter to continue.”

The RSPCA also slammed the Council’s failure to decide on how long dairy calves destined for slaughter can legally be off feed.

“For two and a half years, primary industries ministers have debated time off feed for dairy (bobby) calves and today’s indecision fails to put in place the most basic protection for these young, vulnerable animals.

“800,000 dairy calves are trucked to slaughter every year and it is inexcusable that we still don’t have a legally enforceable standard to help ensure their welfare.

“Ministers have today failed Australian animals in two critical areas and in doing so they have failed to meet the expectations of the Australian community who expect the decent treatment of animals born into our care.”



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