Industry responds to animal cruelty in Vietnam

17 June 2016

There have been reports in the media during the last few days regarding feedlot and abattoir facilities in Vietnam being suspended from receiving live cattle from Australia.

This follows footage obtained by Animals Australia showing significant breaches of animal welfare practices in non-ESCAS approved facilities. There are also claims that there has been leakage of Australian cattle into non-approved abattoirs.

The footage, which is graphic and shocking, was provided to the ABC by Animals Australia and was broadcast on 7.30 last night (16 June).

On learning of the breaches a week ago, the Animal Export Division of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the live export industry rightly took immediate action.

The Australian Livestock Exporters Council is the lead agency and industry spokesperson on the issue, reporting back to the Red Meat Advisory Council.

MLA is an advocate for high animal welfare standards in Australia and in international markets.

MLA’s role and responsibility in this area is as follows:

  • MLA is not the lead agency on this issue. We have however been working closely in support of industry and the Department, including the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Red Meat Advisory Council and Cattle Council of Australia, to ensure a timely and rigorous industry response.
  • As a research & development and marketing service provider to industry, MLA works to maintain and build sustainable overseas markets for Australian producers and exporters, providing in-market training, technical support and market access initiatives.
  • MLA has no legal powers in export markets.
  • MLA and LiveCorp also co-fund the Live Export Program, investing producer and exporter levies to deliver animal welfare improvements in Australia and overseas markets through programs and in-market support.
  • The livestock export industry is regulated by the Australian Government's Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), under which the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources oversees all slaughter facilities. Exporters have a legal responsibility to report any ESCAS breaches to the Department.
  • Through MLA’s investment in animal health and welfare, MLA is supporting the red meat industry in maintaining a strong and sustainable live export trade that was worth more than $1.7 billion to Australia in 2015.

You can read more about the Australian Government’s investigation and the Australian live export industry’s response.

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