RSPCA meets with live export industry to demand urgent measures

Due to the continued absence of effective Government intervention in preventing cruelty in the live export trade to Vietnam, RSPCA Australia, the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council (ALEC) and Animals Australia have today met in Canberra to discuss the need to address the ongoing situation.

The RSPCA believes the industry’s own six-point plan for Vietnam will not adequately prevent further supply chain non-compliance. Recent reports of Australian animals being sledgehammered to death in Vietnam, echoing previous complaints made as far back as June 2013, the RSPCA has been left with little confidence that animals will be protected from future abuse without additional conditions being put in place in this market.

RSPCA Australia and Animals Australia today presented ALEC with an additional six-point plan of critical measures needed to proactively and urgently address continued non-compliance within the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) in Vietnam.

The six-point plan includes:

1.Voluntary suspension of trade until ALEC can make a public declaration that Vietnam supply chains are secure.

2.All animals (cattle and buffalo) regardless of their country of origin to be restrained and stunned in accordance with Australian ESCAS regulations in ESCAS approved abattoirs.

3.Where ESCAS facilities exist in traditional slaughter villages, or in proximity to traditional slaughterhouses, exporters commit to supplying restraint and stunning equipment to all facilities.

4.Commit to scanning of ear tags at ESCAS abattoirs post-slaughter and for the process to be captured by CCTV cameras. Associated vision to be supplied to the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with monthly reconciliation reports.

5.Log in details to CCTV provided to Department of Agriculture

6.Supply chain access granted on a biannual basis to a suitably qualified independent auditor appointed by RSPCA Australia and Animals Australia.

While RSPCA Australia continues to oppose the live export trade it is hopeful the industry will see the importance of committing to these measures in order to protect Australian animals whilst ever the trade continues.