The following responses have been issued following video disclosures of alleged cruelty to Australian Cattle in the Dabbah Slaughter in Israel.
To view the original animal welfare investigation announcement issued by the Department of Agriculture yesterday, click here.
Otway Livestock Exports
Video footage illustrating the cruel handling of Australian Livestock in the Dabbah facility is unacceptable.
Otway Livestock Exports, a supplier to the facility, has moved quickly to address the issue. OLE managing director Alan Schmidt and Graham Brown, general manager livestock, are both on site and have been formally in control of livestock processing at the plant for the last 72 hours.
The footage and subsequent investigation by OLE, have identified a breakdown in management oversight at the plant. This is a reflection on both management and the Australian owners of the ESCAS supply chains. OLE has moved to commence the following initiatives:
- Control of slaughtering has now been formally handed over to an independent former Australian Government veterinarian, who has now arrived on site. The processing of livestock is additionally being monitored by representatives of OLE. Reports regarding the handling of Australian livestock in the facility are being forwarded to DAFF officers in Australia.
- The operations manual and procedures for the receival, handling and slaughter of livestock is being revised and rewritten. A program of training based around the upgraded manual will be introduced across all staff who work with livestock. Staff will be required to undergo a written examination based on the new manual. They will receive further and ongoing training from Australian technicians. This will result in a sustainable management regime that ensures animal handling meets or exceeds OIE standards.
- Management has agreed to install new equipment to further upgrade the capability of what technically is currently a high standard facility.
- While management at the plant has taken responsibility for what has taken place, they have also dismissed a number of staff from the facility whose actions regarding livestock have been unacceptable, and outside the established guidelines of the plant.
- Training will be ongoing and procedures will be monitored on a continuous basis for the foreseeable future.
- New video CCTV equipment is being installed within the plant. Feed from these cameras will be made available.
The Dabbah family (presumed to be the owners/operators of the facility: Editor) supply almost 50pc of (Israel’s) fresh meat to approximately seven million people. Senior members of the family are acutely aware of their responsibility to the people of Israel and also to the significant numbers of Israeli and Australian livestock under their care. This incident has been and will be, on an ongoing basis, systematically and comprehensively dealt-with.
– Alan H Schmidt, managing director.
Livestock Shipping Services
Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) is aware of allegations surrounding a possible breach of OIE and ESCAS animal welfare standards in a facility that is one of several in the company’s Israel cattle supply chain. LSS understand that Israeli authorities are investigating accordingly.
LSS takes all welfare allegations very seriously and will not tolerate the mistreatment of animals in its supply chain by any individual in any manner.
Since being made aware of the allegations, LSS has worked with the owner/operator of the facility to ensure that livestock supplied by LSS remaining in the supply chain are controlled and managed in a way that prevents them harm including:
- Immediately dismissing several employees at the facility found to be acting not in accordance with standard operating procedures and operations
- Immediately having the operator of the facility agree to full management and control of the livestock slaughter process coming under the authority of Australian representatives in the market
- Engaging and sending directly to the facility an Australian qualified veterinary consultant to review and assess slaughter procedures with full control and authority to modify and correct any process in the supply chain
- Commencement of an immediate intensive re-training and specialist evaluation program around point of slaughter operations to ensure OIE standards are met on a consistent basis.
The facility at the centre of the allegations is heavily-reliant on Australian livestock that forms the majority of supply for its operations. Since being made aware of these allegations, management has actioned immediately to address the concerns raised, and worked proactively and co-operatively with Australian exporters to address the issues.
LSS is working closely with the Department of Agriculture on the matter and is keeping the regulator fully-informed of ongoing corrective actions. LSS has invested and continues to invest heavily in programs in Israel and throughout the wider Middle East region.
LSS supports the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System and is fully-transparent with all areas of ESCAS regulation. Through its relationships with importers, LSS is fully-committed to building a strong and compliant supply chain and livestock export trade with Israel to ultimately benefit Australian producers.
No person likes to see animals mistreated in life or death and LSS remains committed to ensuring that all livestock, Australian or otherwise are treated appropriately with the respect they deserve.
– The LSS response was not attributed to an individual company representative.