RSPCA Australia has major concerns about Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce‚Äôs comments that a new market for Australia‚Äôs live cattle is ‚Äòimminent‚Äô and that live export agreements can ‚Äòsometimes be very quick‚Äô.
‚ÄúThe rush to push animals into Vietnam, with 89 facilities approved in under 2 years, and the cruelty resulting from inadequate monitoring and oversight should serve as a warning to the Government and exporters,‚Äù said Dr Bidda Jones, RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist.
‚ÄúNew markets must provide clear evidence of their capacity to meet animal welfare standards before any agreements are made. This should include a full and transparent audit of all facilities involved in the supply chain and an assessment of the country‚Äôs ability to comply with the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System standards.
‚ÄúThis should never be a quick process. If it is, the Government and the industry have not done their due diligence, and cannot in all conscience send Australian animals into a market which has been developed in such haste.
"Minister Joyce‚Äôs efforts to expand live export markets are misplaced and will only serve to put animals at even more risk of unnecessary suffering.
‚ÄúRather than focussing its efforts on an industry which continually undermines Australia‚Äôs ‚Äòclean, green‚Äô reputation, the Government should be working to expand meat export markets with the goal of transitioning to a meat-only trade.
‚ÄúThis would ensure humane treatment for our animals and a stable and sustainable market for producers,‚Äù said Dr Jones.