PRESS RELEASE: Government releases alarming new details of live export cruelty

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On MAY 2, 2014

Animals Australia said reports released today into live export breaches in Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritius and Vietnam graphically reinforce that the government’s system of regulation is failing to protect animals from terrible cruelty. 

Each report confirmed breaches of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System with either major or critical non-compliances marked against the exporters responsible. However, each of the companies continues to be granted export permits.

One of the reports includes chilling details of Australian cattle exported to Vietnam being hit on the head with a sledgehammer multiple times before collapsing and one animal having his spinal cord cut whilst fully conscious.

“No one should assume that these were isolated incidents. There is already another investigation underway into live export breaches in Vietnam and as we have read in this report, the consequences for animals are potentially horrific,” said Animals Australia spokesperson, Lisa Chalk. 

“The fatal flaw in this regulatory system is obvious, in that of the four reports released today, three were investigations conducted by Animals Australia and one was reported by a member of the public. The Department would not even know about these breaches were it not for the evidence provided to them.” 

This was the third legal complaint relating to Kuwait and the second of three relating to recurring breaches in Jordan – each with dire welfare consequences for animals. In each case, the Department’s only action has been to put additional conditions on the exporter’s licence even after previous additional conditions were not adhered to.

“Regulations can only be effective if there is the ability to police them and the will to enforce them. The fact that we are seeing recurring breaches clearly indicates that regulatory action has not been strong enough to motivate compliance.” 

“Amidst calls for the live trade to end, Australians were promised a regulatory system that would protect animals from the worst abuses. But 18 months into this system we are still seeing cattle beaten with sledge hammers, stabbed in the eyes and sheep being stuffed in car boots and brutally slaughtered in the streets.”

“The government proudly proclaims that we are the only exporting country to have standards but that is completely irrelevant if regulations are not being complied with and the abuse of exported animals continues.”

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