The Australian Veterinary Association has called for urgent changes to protect the health and welfare of animals exported to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer.
AVA president Dr Paula Parker said that in light of recent events, the system intended to protect animal welfare had clearly failed and that an urgent response was needed.
“Any breaches of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock are unacceptable to veterinarians, farmers and the community. Furthermore, where these standards are found to be deficient, they must be urgently reviewed,” Dr Parker said.
Last week, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud publicly committed to ensuring industry, government and the regulator fulfil their responsibilities announcing a short, sharp review of the standards for the sheep trade during the Middle Eastern summer.
“We welcome this announcement and look forward to Minister Littleproud presenting his plans—and we’re pleased to see a veterinarian is leading this review,” Dr Parker said, adding that when veterinarians are on board live export vessels they provide daily reports to the government on the state of animal health and welfare.
“It is imperative that the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has sufficient resources and veterinary animal welfare experts to act on these reports appropriately and without delay,” Dr Parker stressed.
“There is no place in the industry for exporters who are not committed to upholding animal welfare as the primary guiding principle for the export of livestock.”
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.