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The death of 49 Angus and Hereford breeding heifers on-board a cargo flight from Victoria to Kazakhstan yet again highlights the risks of exporting live animals.

It’s believed the animals died from suffocation as a result of poor air circulation.

This tragic incident underscores the need for a review of current standards and demonstrates that, whether animals are shipped or flown, for breeding or for slaughter, there are still  inherent risks in the live export journey.

The RSPCA understands that an investigation is underway and urges the government to ensure that its findings are used to improve current standards for air transport of livestock.

A review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock commenced in 2012 but was suspended prior to the federal election. The RSPCA has called for this process to be resumed as a matter of urgency.

These cattle were exported for breeding purposes which means their export is not covered by the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System.

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