JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT 

Vietnam Allegations - Industry Response

11 June 2016

The inhumane treatment of animals is unacceptable to Australian livestock producers and exporters. We are focused on ensuring that the wellbeing and welfare of our livestock is provided for at all times.

So evidence of animal cruelty for any animal affects us and is taken seriously by the entire Australian red meat and livestock sector.

The Department of Agriculture & Water Resources (DAWR) has advised us that it has commenced an investigation following evidence provided to them by Animals Australia of the brutal use of sledgehammers to slaughter alleged Australian cattle at an abattoir in Vietnam.

The industry understands that the evidence provided to the Department today relates to an abattoir not approved to receive livestock exported from Australia, but that Animals Australia alleges Australian cattle are being supplied to non-approved abattoirs in the Phu Xuygen (Bai do) district and that non-approved practices are being used in ESCAS approved abattoirs.

The industry fully supports the Department’s decision to commence an immediate and thorough investigation.  Australian livestock exporters have also taken immediate steps to interrogate control and traceability systems and will be announcing additional response measures in the coming days.

Australian livestock exporters are responsible for cattle to the point of slaughter and any movement of cattle to facilities outside of approved supply chains can constitute a critical breach of Australian regulations. 

If any exporters are found to have deliberately breached their obligations then harsh penalties do apply. 

As the representative organisations of the Australian livestock export industry, it is our responsibility to work with DAWR, Australian exporters and industry partners to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted and that swift action is taken to address any failure of facilities, supply chains or systems.

[ends]

Media Contact: Alison Penfold – 0408 633026 

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