CSU experts tackle live export issue

1 JANUARY 2003

ABC's Four Corners program on Monday 30 May showed Australian cattle being subjected to inhumane treatment in Indonesian abattoirs and has prompted calls for an immediate ban on live exports to Indonesia. Experts from Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences are well placed to comment on the welfare of animals, meat produce market and the live export industry.

ABC's Four Corners program on Monday 30 May showed Australian cattle being subjected to inhumane treatment in Indonesian abattoirs and has prompted calls for an immediate ban on live exports to Indonesia.
 
Experts from Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences are well placed to comment on the welfare of animals, meat produce market and the live export industry.

Professor Peter Wynn, EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, based in Wagga Wagga: “The recent ABC Four Corners program highlighted some of the deficiencies in the operation of abattoir facilities in Indonesia where Australia cattle are slaughtered. Some of these facilities utilise equipment designed in Australia for slaughter of animals without stunning. The program did not emphasize the requirement for the animal to be conscious at the point of exsanguination and nor the religious sensitivity that accompanies this issue.   Clearly the facilities for this are inadequate and more effective mechanisms of animal restraint need to be developed and adopted.
 
“The solution is to develop immediately effective education and research programs with our Indonesian colleagues that will allow them to slaughter the larger Australia animals in Indonesian abattoirs with appropriate welfare considerations in place.  Both expertise and finance will need to be invested to develop new more effective restraint devices. I foresee a long term program with an investment timeline of at least 10 years to achieve our goals.   The auditing of abattoirs is not an effective measure:  long term on site education and guidance certainly is.  Charles Sturt University is well placed to assist in the development of these appropriate education programs. 
 
“Many have suggested that we simply sell chilled or frozen beef from animals slaughtered in Australia.  This is not the Indonesian custom and so will not work effectively:  put simply they will not buy our meat on this basis and simply source live animals from other countries. The way forward is for effective engagement and not isolation.  In this way we can improve the welfare of Indonesia’s own indigenous animals as they proceed through their slaughter process.”
 
Professor Peter Chenoweth, CSU Professor of Veterinary Reproduction, based in Wagga Wagga: “The Australian Veterinary Association, of which I am on the Council, has put together a statement  with which I agree. Appalling as the scenes depicted were, our total withdrawal from such a market would be counterproductive in terms of overall animal welfare. That is because we can, and do, exert influence via educational and economic means.”
Media contact:

Holly-Amber Manning, 02 6365 7813

Share this article
share

Share on Facebook Share
Share on Twitter Tweet
Share by Email Email
Share on LinkedIn Share
Print this page Print

Albury-Wodonga Bathurst Dubbo Orange Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University International