The Australian Livestock Exporters Council says exporters meeting in Brisbane yesterday committed to a range of additional initiatives to improve animal welfare transparency and accountability, as the industry struggles to maintain public support in the wake of the latest televised footage of animal mistreatment.
Activists tend to decry economics as a weak defence of poor behaviour, but this is a naive approach writes the Australian Farm Institute’s Katie McRobert
Damning footage of Australian sheep dead and dying in extreme heat and cramped conditions on vessels bound for the Middle East has sparked industry plans for improved welfare measures and transparency.
With dry seasonal conditions in large parts of rural Australia, livestock producers are being reminded of their obligations to adhere to ‘fit to load’ animal transport standards and guidelines.
As seasonal conditions across eastern Australia deteriorate following a lack of summer rain, cattle producers are being urged not to gamble on animal welfare by transporting stock that are not fit to load.
A 65 year old farmer from Miners Rest, near Ballarat in Victoria, has been fined $20,000 with conviction in the St Arnaud Magistrates Court for offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The number of animals reported as arriving at export abattoirs in an unfit condition to load indicates that Australian livestock producers, agents and transporters are largely taking their responsibilities under Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock seriously.
A 60-year-old truck driver from Euroa, in north east Victoria, has been given a $9000 fine with conviction and a two year Conditional Order for failing to feed and provide treatment to his cattle.
A 76-year-old farmer from Tragowel in northern Victoria has been fined $50,000 with conviction and received a five year Conditional Order for failing to feed and provide veterinary attention to his cattle.
The Productivity Commission has been accused of ignoring significant industry and Government efforts to achieve world-leading animal welfare standards in Australian agriculture, and favouring skewed welfare group policies to solve problems that don’t actually exist.