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Australian Authorities Clamp Down on Welfare Breaches in Live Exports

05 May 2014

AUSTRALIA - Investigations in to live exports of cattle and sheep from Australia have found a series of breaches of the welfare recommendations and control measures once the animals had landed in the importing countries.

The Australian Department of Agriculture found that some of the cattle exported to a supply chain in Viet Nam were moved outside approved facilities and slaughtered in a manner not compliant with international animal welfare recommendations.

The Australian authorities said that no further consignments have been approved for export to the supply chain in question.

Three other investigations and reports concern events in Jordan, Kuwait and Mauritius that occurred during the Eid al-Adha festival period in October last.

The Department of Agriculture found that animals were taken to unauthorised locations and were subject to poor animal handling and slaughter.

The department said it has now taken a range of actions to address problems with the supply chains in question, including:
• A Jordan supply chain has been reduced in size from five to three facilities that are located at single site, to reduce the risk of unauthorised movement of livestock.
• A supply chain officer is in place to monitor stock movements from and between supply chain facilities and to provide reports to the exporters in these markets.
• Increased monitoring of supply chain performance through independent performance audit reports and monthly reconciliation information submitted by exporters.
• All animals are required to be marked with exporter specific identification at the feedlots and abattoirs of affected supply chains in Jordan and Kuwait.
• A monthly declaration from exporters stating:

o whether or not livestock exported from Australia remained in the supply chain up until the point of slaughter;
o that appropriate security is in place at each facility where sheep are held in the supply chain.
The department has also completed another assessment of a self-reported non-compliance for cattle exported to Viet Nam, report number 29. In this case, no adverse animal welfare outcomes resulted from the non-compliance.

The Australian Department of Agriculture has also found two incidents where exported cattle were found dead on arrival.

The exports were both by air to China and Kazakhstan.

Two reports into the deaths show that in both instances, inadequate ventilation was the most likely cause of the mortalities.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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