How many animals must starve to death before the Government takes action on this live export loophole?
The live export industry has once again brought international shame upon our farming industries.
Yet again, images have emerged of Australian cattle live exported for breeding purposes languishing in shocking conditions. As the ABC has reported, cattle exported to Indonesia are seen in starving and emaciated condition, or dead – their skeletal bodies sinking into the ground.
We saw terrible conditions for Australian dairy cattle sent to Sri Lanka in April this year, and again in Qatar in 2012.
How much more suffering will the Government allow, before they move to close this unbelievable live export loophole?
The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), a system introduced by the Government and lauded as a world-class approach to ensuring animal welfare in export countries, does not extend to protect the tens of thousands of breeder or dairy animals.
That means that after these animals leave the country, we have no way of monitoring their welfare and conditions. This is simply not good enough, and the Australian public expect better for our animals.
RSPCA Australia’s response
The RSPCA has been calling for this loophole to be closed since the ESCAS was first introduced in 2011. Why should animals exported for breeding or dairy purposes be afforded any less protection than those live exported for slaughter?
And yet, despite multiple examples of the suffering of Aussie cattle in overseas locations, the government still hasn’t taken action.
We’re calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie to heed the evidence and immediately review the ESCAS, to ensure the welfare of breeder and dairy cattle is protected.
Please take action today and call for the Minister to take urgent action!