Posts Tagged ‘Farm Animal Welfare Council’

Ban horrific halal abattoirs as cruel & inhumane

Saturday, February 11th, 2012
Halal Religious Slaughter
..requires throat slitting with a steel knife
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The conditions required for ‘halal slaughter‘ require no stunning, instead death is executed manually using a steel knife, irrespective of the consciousness of the victim.

[Source: Halal Meat International Pty Ltd, ^http://ausmeat.net/halal.html]

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A sentient animal (like this healthy goat above) is initially trusting of human caretakers, but upon the knife stroke and pain is conscious of being killed,  and is so stressed (as any human would be).

The animal dies from bleeding to death while conscious.  It suffers pain from the knife cutting into its flesh, its arteries, its oesophagus. To eat meat killed without instant death by stunning/shot, any alternate practice is unnecessary, by choice, barbaric and immoral.  All animal cruelty must be outlawed, and prescribed into every country’s Crimes Act. The United Nations else needs to universally deem recalcitrant nations, barbaric.  Thus Australia is barbaric, along with Indonesia, Israel and the United States!

This article expresses horror and disgust at the immoral treatment of animals by any human.  While this article criticises religious and cultural practices, it is only in respect of how these may cause cruelty to animals.  This article and this website respects the freedom of all human religions and cultures.  But the moment anyone for whatever reason, belief or justification inflicts cruelty upon any animal, we utterly condemn it as wrong, barbaric and prescribe such action as a crime equal and deserving of the same crime inflicted on a human.

Animals are not anyone’s property, just as women are not the property of men, just like children are not slaves.

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The Golden Rule of Human Morality

Morality condemns the inflicting of pain and suffering on any sentient being.  The hahal practice is immoral.  It is only performed for religious ritual reasons by barbaric patriarchal extremists.  Halal needs to be banned globally.

In Australia, predominant modern Christian values prescribe moral human conduct based upon the fundamental universal premise:

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“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” 

~ Luke 6:31

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Sensibly, no halal executioner or eater of halal meat would want to be killed by having their throat slit.   Indeed, no rational person would want to be killed at all.  Animal liberationists would argue that no animals should be killed and that to eat meat is murder.

While the ethics of killing animals for meat is a debated issue, inflicting cruelty on sentient beings is one of clear immorality.  Inflicting cruelty is a discretionary choice and is avoidable.

The moral maxim that one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself, indeed extends beyond modern Christian values.  It is more broadly referred to as the ethic of reciprocity or ‘Golden Rule’ prescribing human moral conduct.  Conversely, the Silver Rule is the negative interpretation: ‘One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.’ The Golden Rule dates back to Ancient Egypt and has prescribed standards of human morality across almost every ethical tradition of civilised human history including Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Baha’i, Brahmanism, Brahma Kumaris, Indigenous, Interfaith, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American, Neo-Pagan, Sikhism, Taoism, Theosophist, Unitarian Universalist and Zoroastrian.

The Golden Rule  has universally become the common principled base for the “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic” from the Parliament of the World’s Religions.  The Initial Declaration was signed by 143 respected leaders from all of the world’s religions in 1993. Outside that global ethic there of course are those who justify killing anthing for their own ends.  There will always be extremists.

By instinct, an animal trusts us, but learns to fear us for its life

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Throat Slitting Slaughter is Immoral

 

The cruel practice of ‘halal slaughter‘ is one of the Islamic faith that has become a deviant abberation of that faith by men, just as the practice of patriarchal honour killings breach the ethical tenets of Islam.

Label used for Halal Meat

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A fundamental Quranic concept  and a Pillar of Islam is ‘forbidding what is evil‘ and ‘opposing injustice‘.  Those who choose to selectively exclude sentient beings are applying an extreme and narrow interpretation on their faith.  Killing is wrong.  Cruelty is wrong, evil and unjust.

Similarly, Jewish orthodox ‘kosher slaughter‘ practices prescribes ritual killing of an animal by slitting its throat with a knife.   Kosher slaughter is simply a extreme and narrow interpretation of the Bible and the Torah, the Judaic scriptures.    Somehow that interpretation claims that stunning before throadt slitting means the animal is unfit for Jews to eat, but nowhere in the Judaic scriptures is this explicitly prescribed.

Label used for Kosher Meat

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Mutual respect applies not just between human beings but between humans (who have the intelligence to recognise) and all sentient beings – those living creatures that can feel, perceive or be conscious, including being able to feel pain and suffering.

Whereas morality is essential for civilised humanity, religion is a choice of faith.  One’s choice of religion is a subset of human morality.  Without a sound moral code, humanity descends into an uncivilised state – one that is barbaric, vicious, primitive and wicked.   Those who inflict cruelty on any sentient being, either other humans or animals, act immorally.  It is not as if they are ammoral (unaware of what morality is); they are decidedly immoral – they knowingly do what is wrong.  Those who support the eating of animals cruelly killed are similarly immoral.

Ancient Greek society primitively and self-righteously viewed animals existing only for human benefit.  The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle viewed animals as ‘natural slaves‘ made for humans to be used as a means to an end.  Aristotle assigned animals toward the bottom of a hierarchical pecking order, where somehow things lower on the chain were made for those higher on the chain.  So plants were made for animals, animals were made for people, slaves were made for masters, women were made for men, and men were at the top of the earthly chain, made only for God.   Aristotle was a man so may be that had somethig to to with his patriarchal world view.  Civilised society rightly rejects such male hegemony and any form of enslavement.

Ancient Christianity similarly viewed animals existing only human use.   In the Bible’s old testament book of Genesis, God gave man dominion over every living thing that crept on the earth. Every moving thing that lived was meant for man. Some people argue that this is the reason why animals can be treated as property, or in some cases, as machines. It is easy to justify the use of animals for food, research or pleasure when it is believed that they exist for humans.

Such narrow simplistic and self-serving world views reinforce the scope of religion being a subset of the universal holistic concept of human morality.

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Animal Welfare Law in Australia

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In modern best practice civilised societies, cruelty against animals is enshrined in law.    In the United States, animals are viewed as property, but then that same society’s legislators reinstigated human torture and built Guantanamo Bay prison.  Animals in the United States are segregated into being viewed as companion animals for humans, or lesser farm animals, or research animals or wildlife.  It is practically an animal apartheid.  In respect to the slaughter of farm animals, under the the Humane Slaughter Act in the United States ritual throat slitting is legalised.

In Germany, legislation has expressed the responsibility of human beings to protect animals. This idea steps away from the belief that animals are here for us to use as a means to an end.

In Australia, there is still no national law applying to animal welfare.  Instead there is a hotch potch state and territory based regulations.

 

  • New South Wales has its Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979
  • Vic has its Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
  • Queensland has its Animal Care and Protection Act 2001
  • South Australia has its Animal Welfare Act 1985
  • West Australia has its Animal Welfare Act 2002
  • Tasmania has its Animal Welfare Act 1993
  • Northern Territory has its Animal Welfare Act
  • Australian Capital Territory has its Animal Welfare Act1992

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Even though the designated government departments charged with the administration and enforcement of the respective Acts are the primary industry departments, it is a government cop out that standard practice is to delegate enforcement to the RSPCA, a community charity.

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The RSPCA in Australia

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The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals is a community based charity that works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.  RSPCA Australia is a Federation of eight independent State and Territory RSPCA bodies called member Societies. RSPCA member Societies do much of the hands on work traditionally associated with the RSPCA such as the operation of shelters and the Inspectorate plus community education and fundraising.

The RSPCA’s Inspectorate’s primary role is:

  1.     To investigate complaints of cruelty and neglect
  2.     To provide guidance and education to animal owners where necessary
  3.     To initiate prosecutions for offences
  4.     To attend to sick and injured stray animals or those that have been abandoned
  5.     To carry out regular inspections of saleyards, pet shops, abattoirs, livestock export operations, animal boarding and breeding establishments, intensive and non-traditional farms, and all places where animals are kept and used for public entertainment.

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Editor:  What a government cop out!  – getting charities to do its dirty work.  And how effective can a charity be to monitor, police and prosecute such industries and cultures?

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Australian Standards for Farm Animal Slaughter

[Source: RSPCA, ^http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-kosher-slaughter-in-Australia_117.html]

Meat Standards Australia – whose cultural definition?

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The standard for ‘meat production‘ (aka farm animal slaughter)  in Australia is that all animals must be effectively stunned (unconscious) prior to slaughter. Kosher slaughter does not comply with this standard (Ed: nor does Halal slaughter).

Despite the Australian standard requiring stunning, there are instances where the relevant Australian state or territory meat-inspection authority can provide an exemption and approve an abattoir for ritual slaughter without prior stunning – either halal or kosher – for the domestic market. For cattle and sheep, the requirements for this type of slaughter are set out in a nationally adopted guideline Ritual Slaughter for Ovine (Sheep) and Bovine (Cattle):

For cattle, this means the animal must remain in an upright position with the head and body restrained. The animal must be stunned with a captive-bolt pistol immediately after the throat is cut (known as ‘sticking’). Two separate people must perform the sticking and stunning. If there are any problems restraining the animal while attempting to stick it, then it must be stunned immediately.

For religious slaughter of sheep, the guideline requires cutting both the carotid arteries and the jugular veins. This must be confirmed — if they are not completely severed, then the animal must be immediately stunned.

Cattle and sheep requirements are different because cattle have an extra blood supply to the brain through the back of the neck. Therefore, cutting cattle’s throats results in less rapid loss of consciousness.

Kosher beef, sheepmeat and chicken are produced from animals that have not been stunned prior to having their throat cut.

 

‘The RSPCA is strongly opposed to all forms of slaughter that do not involve prior stunning of the animal.

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The RSPCA is concerned there are greater risks of animal suffering during religious slaughter without stunning than for conventional slaughter. The number of animals involved is a tiny percentage of all animals killed but, regardless, the method is distressing to the animal due to:

  • Increased restraint
  • Injury caused by the slaughter methods
  • Subsequent bleeding out

The use of stunning during the slaughter process can remove some, but not all, of these concerns.

The RSPCA definition of humane killing is: ‘an animal must be either killed instantly or rendered insensible to pain until death supervenes’. When killing animals for food, this means they must be stunned before slaughter so they immediately become unconscious. The RSPCA policy on ritual slaughter is clear: slaughter without prior stunning is inhumane and completely unnecessary.

The RSPCA is opposed to inhumane methods of killing and continues to promote this view to governments and the public.  This view of animal welfare and animal slaughter of the RSPCA is supported by The Habitat Advocate, although we consider that concerted effort needs to be made to reduce human reliance upon animals for food.

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End ‘cruel’ religious slaughter, say (British) scientists

[Source: ‘End ‘cruel’ religious slaughter, say scientists’, by Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent, The Independent (UK), 20090622, ^http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/end-cruel-religious-slaughter-say-scientists-1712241.html]
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Religious slaughter techniques practised by Jews and Muslims are cruel and should be ended, says a scientific assessment from the (UK) Government’s animal welfare advisers.

The Farm Animal Welfare Council (UK) says that slitting the throats of the animals most commonly used for meat, chickens, without stunning, results in “significant pain and distress”. The committee, which includes scientific, agricultural and veterinary experts, is calling for the Government to launch a debate with Muslim and Jewish communities to end the practice.

One Muslim organisation, the Halal Food Authority, already insists on the slaughterhouses it regulates stunning animals first on welfare grounds, as long as they are still alive when their throats are slit. But in other halal and almost all kosher slaughterhouses, animals have their throats slit without prior stunning which would render them insensible to the pain. Religious groups say that doing so would be against their interpretation of religious texts.

They are granted an exemption to the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, which stipulates that creatures such as cows, goats and chickens be stunned first.

In a report into the slaughter of white meat, the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) said evidence suggested that chicken and turkeys were likely to be conscious for up to 20 seconds as blood seeped out of them. The animals are killed by a transverse incision across their neck, cutting skin, muscle, trachea, oesophagus, carotid arteries, jugular veins and major nerves.

“Such a large cut will inevitably trigger sensory input to pain centres in the brain,” the council said. “Our conclusions … are that such an injury would result in significant pain and distress … before insensibility supervenes. Fawc is in agreement with the prevailing scientific consensus that slaughter without pre-stunning causes pain and distress. On the basis that this is avoidable and in the interests of welfare, FAWC concludes that all birds should be pre-stunned before slaughter.”

While recognising the difficulties of reconciling scientific findings with matters of faith, it urged the Government to “continue to engage with religious communities” to make progress. In a 2003 report on red meat, FAWC called for ministers to repeal the religious groups’ legal opt-out.

The Shechita Council, which oversees kosher meat, was contacted but did not supply a comment. Massood Khawaja, president of the Halal Food Authority, insisted that its animals were stunned, unlike those regulated by another group, the Halal Monitoring Committee. “The Koran says use your brain, ponder about things and that’s what we are doing,” he said. “It’s a question of animal welfare.”

The Government no longer keeps statistics on religious slaughter, but five years ago, the Meat Hygiene Service suggested 114 million animals were killed under halal and 2.1 million under kosher methods each year in Britain.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it would not change its “long-standing policy of religious tolerance” by ending the opt-out. “And while the Government would prefer to see all animals stunned before slaughter, we will continue to ensure that required standards of animal welfare are effectively monitored and enforced in all slaughterhouses,” it said in a statement.

Last year, Lord Rooker , a minister in the department, called for meat slaughtered without stunning to be labelled for the public’s benefit, since some cuts were considered unacceptable to eat, and sold back into the food chain.  The Government no longer keeps statistics on religious slaughter, but five years ago the Meat Hygiene Service suggested 114 million were killed under halal and 2.1 million under kosher methods each year.

Last night, the vegetarian organisation Viva!, Tom Lane, said: “How many times does the Government’s own advisory committe on animal welfare have to ask for a ban on slaughter without pre-stunning before action is taken? Viva! embraces multiculturalism and all religious faiths, but the suffering of these animals is so extreme that a line has to be drawn somewhere.”

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What is Kosher Slaughter?

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‘At every kosher slaughterhouse, animals are killed by a ritual cut to the neck called ‘shechita that severs the esophagus and trachea (or at least one of these in the case of chickens and turkeys). Ideally, the cut also severs blood flow to the brain and, after a variable period of time, leads to unconsciousness. Jewish law specifies that a razor sharp blade must be used and that the slaughter must be performed by a properly trained individual called a shochet.

‘These rules are particularly important for animal welfare because the sharpness of the blade and its proper use seems to reduce the pain caused by the cut and speed unconsciousness. Most, though not all, authorities in halakha (Jewish law) have further argued that the animal must be conscious while shechita is performed. In non-kosher slaughterhouses, U.S. law requires that animals be stunned before being slaughtered on humane grounds.’

[Source:  Jewish Vegetarians of North America,  Read More: ^http://jewishveg.com/media11.html]

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[Editor:  Illegality and immorality receive a blind eye when Religion overrules State.  Communities have a right to expect their political representatives to appropriately represent community values and for their government to set and maintain high standards, else community faith and trust in political process and in government are undermined].

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The Cruelty Behind Muslim Ritual Slaughter

[Source: ‘The Cruelty Behind Muslim Ritual Slaughter‘ by Logan Scherer, PETA, 20090812, ^http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2009/12/08/the-cruelty-behind-muslim-ritual-slaughter.aspx]

‘I’m going to be frank—after a minute and a half of Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA)’s latest undercover video footage from a halal slaughterhouse in Belgium, I had to stop watching.  But while I was able to hit a pause button, the more than 250,000 cows, sheep, and goats who are slaughtered while they are still conscious must endure prolonged torment. Animals killed halal (according to Islamic law) cannot be stunned before their throats are cut, which means that many animals—including the cow shown in this video—fight and gasp for their last breath, struggling to stand while the blood drains from their necks.

Belgium forbids slaughter without prior stunning, but the law does not apply to ritual slaughter practices, even though much of the halal meat produced in the country is distributed both to religious and nonreligious markets. Islamic teachings encourage kindness and compassion toward all creatures, which is why many Muslims make the humane decision to go vegan.

Visit IslamicConcern.com to learn more about cruelty-free alternatives to halal meat.

Editor: What has become regarded as politically correct has been allowed to descend into morally incorrect.  Ritual slaughter is religious tolerance at any cost.  If halal and kosher is permitted what is stopping tolerance of voodoo, pagan animal sacrifice, Indian Khond human sacrifice, Sumatran Batak canabalism?  Humans can justify any practice on the basis of cultural tradition.

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What has Australia’s Meat and Livestock Association have to say?

[Source: ^http://www.mla.com.au/Livestock-production/Animal-health-welfare-and-biosecurity]


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MLA:  ‘Animal health, welfare and biosecurity are important at all stages of the livestock production chain. Each can have potentially adverse impacts on productivity if managed poorly and because producers have a duty of care to their livestock. If not upheld, these issues have the potential to reflect badly on the whole industry.’

Producers must consider the five freedoms for animals and the need to incorporate these into property management plans and procedures:

  •     Freedom from hunger and thirst
  •     Freedom from discomfort
  •     Freedom from pain, injury and disease
  •     Freedom to express normal behaviour
  •     Freedom from fear and distress

‘Attention to health, welfare and biosecurity is easier during good seasons, but is equally important during poor seasons or during foreseen circumstances likes floods, drought, fires and other adverse events. Special attention needs to be paid when these circumstances necessitate the humane destruction of large numbers of animals.’

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Animal welfare

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‘The welfare of sheep, cattle and goats affects the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the Australian livestock industries. The welfare of livestock is important during all stages of production, from birth to slaughter.  Good animal welfare practices are an integral part of a property management plan.

MLA is committed to investing in animal welfare research that provides tools and knowledge to producers to help them improve the wellbeing of their livestock and address issues of community concern.’

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Editor:  Well, that is Meat Industry spin.  The following articles reveal Australia’s meat industry reality.

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Rogue abattoir not representative: government

[Source: ‘Rogue abattoir not representative: government’, 10 February 2012, AAP, ^http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1625242/Sydney-abattoir-shut-down-over-cruelty-concerns]
Half dead lamb writhes on the abattoir floor at the Hawkesbury Valley Abattoir 
Abattoir workers (in orange) continue slaughtering other animals business-as-usual.

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A Sydney abattoir that has been shut down because of gross animal mistreatment is a rogue operator and not representative of the industry, the NSW Food Authority says.

The Authority suspended operations at Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors at Wilberforce on Thursday after it received video footage depicting “acts of gross animal mistreatment”.

The footage, shown on ABC’s Lateline program on Thursday night, showed a worker bashing a pig several times over the head with a metal bar.  [See Video – WARNING contains disturbing footage].

Another pig was hit 13 times because it had not been stunned properly.

Abattoir worker bashed pigs over the head with a metal pole to kill them

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Investigation Launched

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The Authority, the RSPCA and NSW Department of Primary Industries have launched an investigation into the abattoir, while the operation has been ordered to make a submission as to why it shouldn’t lose its licence.

Peter Day, executive director of compliance at the authority, said it was the worst animal welfare breach at an abattoir that he has ever seen, but defended the industry as a whole.

“Obviously the footage we have seen, we would be of the view that it is not representative of the industry as a whole, and that this is a rogue operation, that is in no way compliant with what is expected of abattoirs,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“We will work with the relevant other agencies… to ensure that we fully uncover why this has occurred and how we can ensure operations like this don’t occur into the future.

“There is no denying that the footage is disturbing. I’m shocked. I think it is the worst case I’ve seen in an abattoir in terms of animal welfare breaches.”

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Workers Sacked

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Workers involved in the mistreatment of animals at a Sydney slaughterhouse have been sacked or moved to other duties, the abattoir says.

Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors said it was extremely concerned about video footage aired on television on Thursday night showing animals being bashed to death while conscious.

Casual staff involved in the incident have been stood down and permanent staff have been moved to other duties until the investigation has been finalised,” the abattoir said in a statement on Friday.

Hawkesbury Valley said it reported the incident to authorities as soon as it became aware of the video and was cooperating with the current investigation.

Wilberforce’s Halal House of Horror

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Wake-Up Call

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NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson on Friday said the footage should act as a “wake-up call” for all abattoir operators, and flagged a review of the state’s abattoirs.

“I’ve seen this footage, and it may well be a one-off, but we’re certainly going to review the operations in all abattoirs as a result of this,” she told ABC Radio.

“I want to make sure that all operations right across NSW are being conducted in a manner which follows those animal welfare guidelines.”

The body representing NSW farmers said it was appalled by the cruelty depicted in the video and welcomed the investigation into the abattoir.

NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said animal welfare had to be a priority for everyone in the meat production chain.

“After the live export issue in 2011, our membership reaffirmed that the highest level of animal welfare should always be carried out, whether at home or abroad,” she said in a statement.

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Call for CCTV Cameras

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Animals Australia called for closed circuit television cameras to be installed in all Australian abattoirs.

“One of the problems is that unlike export abattoirs, domestic abattoirs don’t have an inspector or government officer on site most of the time,” campaign director Lyn White said in a statement.  She said Animals Australia was calling on authorities to follow the lead of the UK where one in five abattoirs was fitted with CCTV cameras.

“Only the presence of cameras will actively discourage workers from engaging in such wanton acts of gross cruelty,” she said.

The food authority’s Mr Day said there were a number of risks with CCTV.

“It is something that we will look at in terms of whether that could have worked in this regard,” he said. “But I think that raises a lot of other questions around who watches the video, who owns the video footage, compliance and so on. I think we are really focussing on the fact that this a one off, in terms of a rogue operator. “We’ve taken the necessary action, they’re not operating now, and we’re doing our full investigation.”

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Inspected 4 Times

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Mr Day said the Sydney abattoir had been audited or inspected four times in 2011. “(But) there was nothing to indicate the levels of the problems that were revealed in the footage were

occurring there”.

Asked if the authority’s compliance procedures had failed, Mr Day said it carried out unannounced inspections and audits.

“I don’t know what more we can do there in that regard,” he said. “I think that our compliance program is as good as it can be at the present time.”  Mr Day said part of the investigation would also look at ongoing investigation and compliance activities.  “I think we need to be clear that ultimately the responsibility to comply with the legislation lies with the abattoir owner operators,” he added.

“As the regulator our action is to respond and react and take action appropriately, where we do uncover breaches, and I think we’ve done that in this regard.”

NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth agreed that the Hawkesbury operation was a rogue operator.  “We were horrified – we were shocked,” Dr Roth said.

“We think it’s very appropriate … to immediately suspend the operation at the abattoir and also to refer it to the RSPCA for a full investigation.”

Dr Roth said he had never seen cruelty like that filmed at the Sydney abattoir. “I was shocked, and we were horrified, and I obviously didn’t like it at all,” he said.

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Real halal…real horror

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Editor:  How do we know this practice is not representative?  From the footage it is a clear workplace culture!

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Not a One-Off  – ‘Vic abattoir probed over cruelty claims’

[Source:  ‘Vic abattoir probed over cruelty claims’, by AAP, 20111125, ^http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/vic-abattoir-probed-over-cruelty-claims-20111125-1nz6r.html]

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A Victorian pig abattoir (LE Giles Abattoir, in Trafalgar, west of Melbourne) has been ordered to stop operations while it is investigated over animal cruelty claims.

Cruel animal treatment – out of sight, out of mind

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Victoria’s department of primary industries announced on Friday it has launched a full investigation into slaughter practices at the Gippsland abattoir following serious animal welfare complaints.

Video footage allegedly taken inside the L.E. Giles and Sons Abattoir will be analysed as part of the probe, which will determine whether animal cruelty prevention laws have been broken.

PrimeSafe Victoria, which licenses the state’s domestic abattoirs, has ordered the abattoir owners to stop operations by suspending its licence.

PrimeSafe chief executive Brian Casey said he ordered the immediate cease after viewing the video footage.  Mr Casey said it will vigorously pursue the complaints to ensure any inhumane treatment of animals is stamped out.

“I am appalled by the treatment of animals shown in the video footage,” he said in a statement.

As the abattoir is now prevented from slaughtering livestock, there is no ongoing risk to the welfare of livestock at the facility or to public health.

Mr Casey said he was prepared to cancel the abattoir’s licence once the probe is complete.  “I have advised the abattoir owners that it is my intention, immediately the investigation is concluded, to take action with a view to cancelling their PrimeSafe licence,” he said.

PrimeSafe is empowered to cancel the operating licence of any abattoir which does not meet animal welfare standards.  The investigation will also uncover any potential breaches of the Meat Industry Act.

One of the abused pigs
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Further Reading:

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[1]  ‘Rogue abattoir not representative: government’,  20120210, AAP, ^http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1625242/Sydney-abattoir-shut-down-over-cruelty-concerns

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[2]  Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  (Australia), RSPCA,  ^http://www.rspca.org.au/

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[3]  http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-kosher-slaughter-in-Australia_117.html

[4]  Halal Meat International Pty Ltd (Australia), ^http://ausmeat.net/halal.html

[5]  Animal Legal and Historical Center, USA, ^http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ddusicacl.htm

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[6]   Luke Muehlhauser, Singularity Institute Executive Director,^http://lukeprog.com/

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[7]   ‘Vic abattoir probed over cruelty claims‘, by AAP, 20111125, ^http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/vic-abattoir-probed-over-cruelty-claims-20111125-1nz6r.html

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[8]   Meat and Livestock Association (Australia’s peak industry body joke), ^http://www.mla.com.au/Livestock-production/Animal-health-welfare-and-biosecurity

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[9]   Islamic Concern.com,  ^http://www.islamicconcern.com/

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[10]  Jewish Vegetarians of North America,  ^http://jewishveg.com/media11.html

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[11]  ‘Activists question Australian Standards’ by Steve Cannane , ABC TV Lateline programme,  20120211, ^http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-11/activists-not-convinced-abattoir-abuse-is-isolated/3824486

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[12]   Melbourne:  ‘Animal activist rescues dog from illegal abattoir’ by Maris Beck and Nino Bucci, 20120203, Hawkesbury Gazette, ^http://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/news/national/national/general/animal-activist-rescues-dog-from-illegal-abattoir/2442639.aspx

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[13]  Melbourne’s illegal dog meat abattoir:  ‘Peter Avraam, illegal dog meat abattoir… RSPCA did nothing!‘, by Chris Roubis, 20120206, ^http://www.chrisroubis.com/2012/02/peter-avraam-illegal-dog-meat-abattoir-rspca-did-nothing/

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[14]   RSPCA Watchdog – a community voluntary watchdog on what the RSPCA is doing and not doing,  ^http://www.rspcawatchdog.org/articles/whatswrong.htm

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Footnote

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‘Trade put first when RSPCA raised issue’

[Source:  ‘Trade put first when RSPCA raised issue’, by Kelly Burke, Sydney Morning Herald, 20110602, ^http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/livestock/cattle/trade-put-first-when-rspca-raised-issue/2182830.aspx?storypage=0]

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The RSPCA took its concerns over the welfare of cattle exported to Indonesia to the federal government in writing two years ago. But the animal welfare organisation was denied permission by the government to investigate, for fear of offending its closest trade partner.

The government also ignored alarm bells that rang 18 months ago, when a departmentally endorsed report designed to document the improvements Australia had achieved in Indonesian abattoirs instead identified serious animal welfare issues at the point of slaughter.

As another ship, the Hereford Express, prepared to leave for Indonesia from Darwin yesterday with about 2000 head of cattle aboard, the Australian Veterinary Association joined the growing call for an immediate ban on all live exports to Indonesia.

So far, the Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, has only declared a moratorium on the supply of cattle to 11 targeted abattoirs, but has declined to specify exactly how the government might enforce such a limited ban while continuing the live export to Indonesia of some 500,000 cattle every year.

”The live export of all cattle to Indonesia should be suspended until the same animal welfare standards as Australia’s can be assured,” said the president of the Australian Veterinary Association, Barry Smyth.

“This means that pre-slaughter stunning must be mandatory and the appropriate use of restraining boxes is enforced.”

The RSPCA has told the Herald it sought to travel to Indonesia to inspect conditions in the abattoirs in 2009, but the then agriculture minister, Tony Burke, brushed off the concerns and referred the matter to the Meat & Livestock Association.

The RSPCA was subsequently refused permission to conduct its own investigation.

”There were suggestions that the minister felt it could upset the Indonesian government,” said the RSPCA’s chief scientist, Bidda Jones. ‘‘But no reason was ever given in writing.’

Then last November, the RSPCA received a request by the Department of Agriculture to attend a briefing in Canberra, where Dr Jones was told an independent report had found that slaughter conditions in Indonesia had been ”generally good”.

Dr Jones received a copy of the report, which had been completed six months earlier. The Herald has also since obtained a copy of the report, which documents a variety of substandard practices that would be illegal under Australian laws and in violation of international guidelines.

Examples included head slapping, where the panicked prostrate animal constantly bangs its head on the steel draining trough as a result of the design of the Australian Mark 1 boxes, and the finding that the average number of cuts to an animal’s throat prior to loss of conscience was four, with up to 18 cuts recorded.

”From the information available in the report it is clear that the majority of the animals observed were subjected to significant levels of pain, fear and distress during handling and an inhumane slaughter,” Dr Jones’s analysis concluded. ”It is therefore both perplexing and extremely disappointing that the report takes the range of conditions observed and summarises them into one sentence: ‘Animal welfare was generally good’.”

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What’s wrong with the RSPCA?

Despite the hard work of volunteers, RSPCA management consistently fails animals.
by Patty Mark and Erik Gorton

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Q. Why is the RSPCA in business with the largest battery egg producer in Australia?

The RSPCA says it’s against the cruel battery cage yet maintains a business arrangement and accepts sponsorship from Pace Farms, Australia’s largest battery egg producer. The RSPCA say their Liberty Barnlaid Egg Endorsement Scheme with Pace will ensure some hens get out of their cages, yet the number of battery hens in cages has not decreased while the RSPCA gets paid (to date) over $182,560 in royalty payments. Meanwhile, Pace Farms has just built the largest battery hen factory in the southern hemisphere (West Wyalong).

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Q. Why does the RSPCA justify overcrowding, beak mutilations, lack of perches, prevention of roosting, chronic stress and electric shock training to the hens they abuse for their barnlaid approved eggs?

The Animal Liberation Victoria undercover rescue team repeatedly videotape and photograph all of the above cruelties inside RSPCA approved barnlaid sheds.

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Q. True or False: The RSPCA is the only animal organisation legally able to prosecute for cruelty in Victoria?

True. (Section 24 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act – POCTA). Other Victorian animal organisations depend on the RSPCA to investigate their cruelty complaints. For twenty years Animal Liberation Victoria has presented clear violations and gross suffering in egg-laying factories, broiler chicken sheds and intensive piggeries, yet the RSPCA ignores this evidence and fails to prosecute.

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Q. How often do the RSPCA routinely inspect those businesses and industries that use the majority of animals in Victoria?

Chickens are the most numerous animals used in Victoria requiring the protection of the RSPCA.
Millions of birds in hundreds of breeding farms, battery/barnlaid and free-range egg farms, and broiler (chicken meat) farms rated only three routine inspections in 2002. The inspections are cursory. What hope do the animals have, especially if inspections are at Pace Farms?

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Q. Killing them softly? Is the RSPCA involved in sending animals to the slaughterhouse?

The RSPCA is also in business with pig producers. Otway Pork was a sponsor of 2006’s Million Paws Walk and the RSPCA makes $$$ from pigmeat sold by Otway Pork. Pigs are as intelligent as dogs. Would the RSPCA send all the unclaimed lost dogs who they euthanise to a slaughterhouse to be electrically prodded, terrorised, have their throats slit, then hung up by one leg to bleed out, with some possibly entering a scalding tank alive? Ask them why they treat pigs this way.

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Q. What creatures (great and small) does the RSPCA serve or cook at it’s fund-raisers and family days?

The RSPCA consistently serves animal flesh at their public functions knowing the enormous pain and terror these animals suffered during their rearing, transport and finally their slaughter at the abattoir. There are numerous meat-free alternatives they could use to spare these creatures this torment while also leading the community forward with a truly humane and healthy food choice.

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Q. What did the RSPCA do to help 378 dogs at a cruel Ballarat Puppy Farm?

Eurovision’s Puppy factory which was situated near Ballarat had been farming thousands of puppies in extremely cruel conditions for over twenty years. Repeated evidence of abuse presented to the RSPCA was dismissed, who claimed that the farm’s operations were legal. After video evidence of an undercover rescue was presented, the RSPCA still maintained “No animal welfare issues observed”. Finally, sustained protests and lobbying of Ballarat’s local council by campaigner Debra Tranter and Animal Liberation Victoria resulted in the farm’s closure due to appalling conditions.
The RSPCA then delivered it’s greatest slap in the face when it mislead the public in it’s newsletter, implying that the closure of the factory was due to their efforts! A very cleverly worded article proclaimed the closure of the Puppy factory, and while it never actually claimed victory, the clear impression given to the reader was that the RSPCA had ordered the closure.

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Q. How is the RSPCA currently handling the case of starving horses in Tolmie?

For seven months now the RSPCA have issued four compliance notices to an animal hoarder who has red-worm infested horses in her care. To date, nine horses have died as a result of insufficient nutrition and lack of adherence to a proper rehabilitation regime. Many more horses are still in danger and yet the RSPCA refuses to seize the horses, claiming that they cannot do so while the owner complies with veterinary advice. The RSPCA appointed vet, however, has since discontinued involvement due to frustration that the owner is not following the procedures he has set out. (Read: ‘RSPCA fails horses in need‘ for the full story).

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Editor:  

Australian Governments (national and state) are turning a blind eye to animal cruelty in farming and this is unacceptable. Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, needs to be sacked for gross neglect and immoral complicity.  The MLA’s previous bossDon Heatley and the Cattle Council’s past boss Greg Brown need to be investigated and both organisations wound up over complicity in the known cruelty of the Indonesian livestock trade. 

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Reform Initiative:

The current inspectorate functions of the RSPCA charity is a government cop out of responsibility for law and order.  That animal welfare is regulated undre multiple state-based systems is a legacy of colonialism.   The entire inspectorate role needs to be wholly transferred to a new dedicated national agency, fully national government-funded and transparently independent from industry and government departments.   Essentially this is a veterinary standard that applies to all animals in Australia – farmed, companion animals, and wildlife.  So perhaps a suitable title for the new agency should have a veterinarian board of management and be called the Australian Animals Police to operate under a strict new national Animal Crimes Act.


Refer to previous The Habitat Advocate articles on this issue:

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1.  >Live Cattle Trade UnAustralian

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2.  >Mataranka cruelty – NT Government complicit

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Photo extract of infamous secret video of Indonesian abattoir barbarism
…don’t travel to Indonesia.  Boycott this backward country!

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