RSPCA’s Chief Science and Strategy Officer, Dr Bidda Jones, said tonight’s “7.30 Report” broadcast of sickening footage of Australian cattle being sledgehammered to death proved that the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) was an abject failure.
“Five years ago, we were promised by the live export industry and the government that this system would ensure that Australian cattle would be slaughtered according to minimum requirements”, Dr Jones said
“Tonight’s report shows that, five years on, Australian animals are still facing shocking treatment within and outside Australian Government approved slaughterhouses”.
“Since ESCAS was introduced in 2011, there has not been one export company prosecuted or had its licence revoked, despite repeated breaches”.
“Clearly, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has failed to adequately regulate the live export industry to ensure humane treatment of Australian animals”.
“There have been multiple reports of cattle being sledgehammered over recent years. In May 2015 and June 2016, Animals Australia provided the Department with evidence of sledge-hammering, showing the regulatory system was failing to protect cattle”
“RSPCA Australia is therefore also calling for the immediate establishment of an independent authority that will enforce live export regulations which are not compromised by the Department’s focus on expanding the live export trade”.
“More than 12 months ago the live export industry admitted it had lost control in Vietnam”.
”Despite the industry’s contention that it has spent ‘millions of dollars’ on its 6 Point Plan to improve the live export market, this investment has still not prevented cruel and barbarous treatment of Australian cattle”.
“We call on the Government to suspend the live export trade immediately to Vietnam. Its systems have failed, its Department has failed, the industry has failed, and the result is horrific treatment of Australian cattle”, Dr Jones said.
“Once again, cattle producers have put their trust in the live export industry and once again, they have been betrayed by the industry. The only way to prevent Australian animals from being subject to the atrocities we have seen tonight, and which occur every night in Vietnam, is to slaughter Australian cattle in Australian abattoirs to Australian standards, and export the meat. Meat exports are good for Australian animals, Australian farmers, Australian jobs and the Australian economy”, Dr Jones said.
The RSPCA is Australia’s leading animal welfare organisation and one of Australia’s most trusted charities. The RSPCA works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.