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For the second time in just a matter of days, Australians have witnessed shocking animal cruelty that is a routine part of the live export trade, this time in Malaysia. It is in the interests of Australian farmers and animals to put in place a plan to transition to a meat-only export trade.

“For the northern Australia cattle industry, if there was an abattoir operating in Darwin right now, producers in Western Queensland and the Northern Territory would at least have another option available to them for their cattle” said Mrs Bradshaw, President of RSPCA Australia.

“I’m sure that the majority of urban Australia would think positively of a Government that supported this type of infrastructure development – it is key to building our meat export opportunities out of northern Australia.

“The live export industry is a high risk industry. Over recent months we have seen the live exporters themselves put in place voluntary suspensions of trade to Bahrain and Egypt – because even they don’t think these countries meet the most basic animal welfare requirements. 

“It is these overnight market shocks and interruptions to trade that create uncertainty and have the most impact on producers. And they will continue to occur. 

“Neither OIE guidelines nor ESCAS can deliver animal handling and slaughter to the standards required in Australia. Whilst animals continue to be sent to inadequate facilities, so too will cruelty continue and in turn our farmers will be affected,” said Mrs Bradshaw.

“Forward planning is vital, if the Government is serious about protecting our animals and supporting Australian farmers, then it must invest in alternatives now.

“Investing in operations and facilities in our own backyard, along with working to increase the demand for Australian meat in international markets, will secure a future for Australian farmers and protect our animals.

“A further commitment from the Government to invest in overseas aid to improve animal welfare will ensure Australian influence can deliver positive change without our animals having to suffer in the process,” said Mrs Bradshaw.

Media contact Elise Meakin 0419 748 907

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