Australia’s live export industry says it remains committed to seeing-through its work to improve animal welfare in overseas markets.
Livecorp chief executive Cameron Hall said the industry readily acknowledged that there was still work to be done to raise animal welfare standards to acceptable levels in some Indonesian abattoirs, but significant work had been invested behind the scenes for years to change that.
“All of our work in Indonesia is directed at ensuring the type of actions depicted in (the Four Corners) footage never occurs,” Mr Hall said.
“The industry has been working hard to introduce stunning into Indonesian abattoirs for some time and we are accelerating this work, so that stunning is adopted in more facilities by the end of the year.”
Mr Hall said that working to improve animal welfare standards in a developing country that lacked the infrastructure of developed countries and had many cultural and religious traditions dictating animal treatment was a sensitive and complex issue.
He said ‘massive improvements’ had been achieved in animal welfare practices in port, handling and feedlot practices in the past 15 years.
While he acknowledged that improvements at the point of processing had been slower, he said the Indonesian industry and the Indonesian Government also wanted to see a significant improvement in animal welfare, and were on-board with the Australian industry’s work to make improvements happen.
“Our role is to provide support and leadership and work closely with them to continue to deliver improvement. We have seen massive improvements to animal welfare over the years, and we’re committed to seeing the process through.”
The Australian live export industry would spend more than $1 million directly on improving animal welfare conditions in Indonesia this year alone, Mr Hall said, through training, equipment and technical advice. Australia was the only country in the world investing in animal welfare in its overseas markets, he said.
After conducting an audit and review of existing animal welfare standards in the live export trade, the industry had committed to only supplying Australian animals into supply chains that met OIE standards by 2015.
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