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Meat processors support RSPCA welfare standards
THE RSPCA has rec- ommended the develop- ment of national animal welfare standards and guidelines for Austral- ia’slivestockprocessing plants.
gated, such as following the release of undercover footage of animal cruelty or poor practices, in most jurisdictions there is no public reporting of the outcomes of investiga- tions.
the development of the initial draft standards un- der NSW leadership and, for several years, AMIC has pursued both federal and state regulators to progress the development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Livestock at Processing Establish- ments to implementa- tion.”
ways possible.”
Dr Jones said the re-
A detailed report and map released by the RSPCA highlights the existing animal welfare regulation for Australian meat processors and the need for greater transpar- ency.
“These problems ex- ist at a time of increas- ing public concern about livestock production, transport and slaughter, and the regular publica- tion of footage of poor practice at Australian abattoirs, poultry proces- sors and knackeries.”
port and scorecard exam- ine seven key measures: animal welfare require- ments, audit frequency, auditor training, over- sight, CCTV use, com- pany training and trans- parency.
The report made 13 rec- ommendations, including priority be given to the development of standards and guidelines to replace the Model Code, last up- dated in 2000.
The Australian Meat Industry Council sup- plied the RSPCA report with technical feedback and supports the RSP- CA’s recommendation for the Federal Government to develop as a priority, national animal welfare standards.
RSPCA Australia chief scientist Dr Bidda Jones said the report and score- card shone a spotlight on significant gaps in ani- mal welfare regulation across the processing in- dustry.
“One thing is clear from this report, and that is that in many areas –suchasCCTVuse– there’s still a long way to go before we can say that all animals slaughtered at Australian abattoirs, poultry processors and knackeries are handled and killed humanely,” Dr Jones said.
RSPCA Australia chief scientist Dr Bidda Jones said the report and scorecard shone a spotlight on significant gaps in animal welfare regulation across the pro- cessing industry.
The public should be able to have confidence that all animals in Australia are han- dled and slaughtered humanely.
The Model Code cov- ers all livestock process- ing plants, however is not mandatory in most areas.
“For a long time, the RSPCA has been con- cerned about the differ- ences in how Australian slaughtering establish- ments are regulated be- tween states and territo- ries, and what this means for the welfare of ani- mals at those facilities,” Dr Jones said.
“There’s a lot the public doesn’t know about ani- mal welfare in Australian slaughtering establish- ments – including even how many animals are being slaughtered.
It is in urgent need of replacing with contem- porary animal welfare standards in abattoirs, poultry processors and knackeries – applicable to poultry, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, horses, deer, buffalo, camels, al- paca and donkeys.
AMIC chief executive officer Patrick Hutchin- son said animal welfare is fundamental to the op- eration of meat process- ing plants and that AMIC is committed to proper, stringent and accountable animal welfare practices across the supply chain.
“Voluntary industry standards that go above minimum regulatory re- quirements can improve animal welfare outcomes when they’re in place.
“We urge government and industry to take note of this report and score- card.
“There is little to no transparency around ani- mal welfare standards or auditing of slaughtering establishments, especial- ly in domestic abattoirs and knackeries,” the re- port said.
“AMIC strongly agrees with the report recom- mendation to develop a national animal welfare standard to replace the Model Code as a prior- ity,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“But the public should be able to have confi- dence that all animals in Australia are handled and slaughtered humanely.
“The resumption of progress on the develop- ment of the Australian Animal Welfare Stand- ards and Guidelines for Livestock at Processing Establishments provides a crucial opportunity to put in place measures to genuinely improve ani- mal welfare and meet the community’s expecta- tions.”
“When issues are raised and investigations insti-
“AMIC participated in
“With the current regu- latory system, having that confidence is not al-
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National Poultry Newspaper, May 2021 – Page 7

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