Senate inquiry to investigate MLA role in animal welfare

James Nason, 17/06/2011

The management of animal welfare standards in Australian live export markets by the Government,  Meat and Livestock Australia, Livecorp and other relevant organisations will be investigated by a Senate inquiry.

The Senate yesterday passed a motion from the Australian Greens seeking an inquiry into the role played by MLA and other organisations into the treatment of animals in Indonesia. 

The Inquiry into improvements in animal welfare for Australian live exports will consider:

  • The role and effectiveness of Government, Meat and Livestock Australia, Livecorp and relevant industry bodies in improving animal welfare standards in Australia’s live export markets 
  • the extent of knowledge of animal welfare practices in Australia’s live export markets; 
  • the domestic economic impact of the live export trade within Australia.

The Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Reference Committee has been asked to report on the results of its inquiry by Thursday, August 25.

 “This will be a prompt, public and transparent process which will deliver some important answers about how the animals in Indonesia were allowed to suffer such appalling treatment,” Greens senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The representatives from these organisations have been in Indonesia; they have visited the abattoirs that we saw so graphically depicted on Four Corners. 

“It is important that this inquiry will examine the role of MLA. They have a responsibility to maintain and improve animal welfare standards in Indonesia and clearly this has not occurred.

“Our cattle industry in crisis as a direct result of the failure to maintain animal welfare standards and it is important to know how this happened and determine where the responsibility lies.”

Meanwhile Meat and Livestock Australia will meet agriculture minister Joe Ludwig today to outline its response to his order to pay $5m compensation to producers directly affected by the live export ban.

It will also provide the minister with an update on how work to implement traceability in the Indonesian market is progressing.

Mr Ludwig told the Canberra media yesterday that he would not allow resumption of any live cattle trade to Indonesia until full traceability on every animal throughout the whole supply chain was in place. 


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