RSPCA Australia is calling on the Australian Government to make a firm commitment to a transition away from live exports to a meat-only trade for the sake of Australian animals and Australian farmers. Shocking vision of animal cruelty witnessed on ABC’s 7:30 tonight is a clear reminder of the cruelty of the live export trade.
“The live export industry has been spruiking the benefits of the Ain Sokhna facility in Egypt for years now but this vision shows how completely out of touch they are with Australian community expectations,” said RSPCA Australia President, Lynne Bradshaw.
“More than a hundred thousand Australian animals have been slaughtered in these facilities in the past few years, facilities where no stunning is required and animals are forced to face the horrors of having their throats cut in terrifying restraint devices.
“Once again Australian farmers have been duped by the live exporters who convinced them the Ain Sokhna and Ismailia facilities were protecting the welfare of their animals.
“RSPCA Australia first raised serious animal welfare concerns about these dreadful restraint boxes, which turn cattle upside down before slaughtering them while conscious, when the trade was reopened in 2008,” said Mrs. Bradshaw.
Despite calls from industry leaders for Egypt to be covered by the governments Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS), there continue to be serious flaws in this system.
Even under ESCAS animals are still subject to the cruelty of un-stunned slaughter. ESCAS also gives the green light to devices that force cattle onto their sides or upside down, devices that government advisors have themselves classed as unacceptable.
“Australian sheep and cattle producers deserve certainty that there will be a market for their livestock,” said Mrs. Bradshaw.“They need support for a transition away from live exports so that they know their livestock will be treated in accordance with Australian laws from the farm gate to slaughter.
“This latest exposure of blatant cruelty demonstrates once again that the live export industry can provide no guarantees for the way exported animals will be treated in other countries.
“Live exports will never provide the certainty that producer’s need, every time live export cruelty hits the Australian media, it damages farmers' livelihoods.
“If the government is serious about protecting Australian animals and farmers it needs to make a plan now and start moving away from live exports for good.”
Media contact Elise Meakin 0419 748 907