Monday, July 11, 2011

Government must mandate stunning in Indonesia

While news of industry and government discussions on stunning is encouraging, only a government level agreement to mandate stunning will give the Australian community any assurance that animals will be protected in Indonesia. Now that Australians have seen the reality of fully conscious slaughter, anything less will never be accepted.

Cutting the throat of a conscious animal causes immense pain and suffering and contrary to some claims - by law, all cattle must be stunned in Australia. To accept a lesser standard in importing countries is a failure in our duty of care towards animals born under the protection of Australian law.

The RSPCA continues to call on the government to only issue export permits for facilities that practice pre-slaughter stunning - anything less than that will not provide any assurances that animals will be protected.

The public will not have confidence in a system that is still in the hands of an industry that has proven it cannot be trusted. It's important to remember that this is an industry that has knowingly supplied animals to horrific cruelty in Indonesian slaughterhouses for nearly two decades.

OIE Guidelines

Using OIE guidelines as a benchmark for the treatment of Australian animals in Indonesia is totally unnacceptable. OIE guidelines are base level standards designed to guide countries that don't have animal protection regulations.

OIE guidelines do not require upright restraint so animals can still be knocked over onto their sides for slaughter; they do not require pre-slaughter stunning; and they in fact do not prohibit roping slaughter whereby animals are forcibly tripped and pulled to the floor for the throat cut.

OIE guidelines do not represent acceptable welfare standards and should not be sold as such.

The RSPCA is supporting legislation that would see live exports phased out over the next three years, with strict regulations implemented in the interim that would see animals only going to facilities that meet Australian standards.

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