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The RSPCA has reiterated today that it is not calling for a ban on saleyards.  This comes in response to continued confusion in some areas of the livestock sector.

“I wish to be very clear, the RSPCA has not called for a ban on saleyards,” said RSPCA Australia President Lynne Bradshaw.

“Significant improvements to address animal welfare concerns at saleyards have been made in recent times and the RSPCA will continue to work with saleyard operators to achieve further improvements across the wider industry,” said Mrs. Bradshaw. 

The confusion has arisen following the November 2012 release RSPCA Guidelines for Beef Cattle Welfare that outline a vision for beef cattle welfare in the future.

These Guidelines came in response to requests by cattle and sheep producers who wanted to be able to differentiate their product based on higher welfare practices.  They are aimed at beef cattle producers who want to voluntarily move towards higher levels of welfare - beyond what is required by law.

“It seems that the intent of the guidelines has been misinterpreted especially over the issue of the use of saleyards,” said Mrs. Bradshaw.

“Many producers are well aware that consumers are increasingly considering the welfare of farm animals when making food purchases.

“We anticipated that this would be a win-win situation with better business outcomes for producers and higher standards of farm animal welfare which the RSPCA seeks on behalf of the Australian community.”

“There has also been some confusion about the role of RSPCA Inspectors at saleyards. 

“It is important to remember that RSPCA Inspectors can only enforce animal welfare legislation, regardless of RSPCA policy or views,” said Mrs. Bradshaw.

 Media contact Elise Meakin 0419 748 907

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