Australian Greens Senator and Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has responded to reports hundreds of Australian cattle sold for breeding to the Indonesian Government in 2018 are malnourished or dead. This new scandal has highlighted the lack of protections for breeder and dairy cattle. Senator Faruqi has called for the release of the full report into the incident.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Yet again, we see the callousness of the live export industry with photos of Australian cattle dead or severely malnourished. These animals have clearly suffered immensely because of the live export industry’s indifference to animal welfare.
“Thousands of breeder cattle have gone to Indonesia and we have no way of knowing what happened to them or even if they are still alive and being treated humanely. There is a huge loophole in the live export industry that really risks the welfare of breeder cattle because the Government is more interested in money than animal welfare.
“We’ve seen the debacle with dairy cattle in Sri Lanka where hundreds died and many more fell sick, so I am really concerned with the fate of these animals. The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) system monitoring animals sent for slaughter is flawed but at least it is something. These poor cattle seem to have no monitoring at all so it is imperative they are included in ESCAS.
“When Livecorp had the opportunity to update Parliament on what was happening with these breeder cattle, they completely obfuscated. This really raises the question of what are they hiding. Where there is smoke, there is fire and we must get to the bottom of it. They must be transparent and release the full report,” she concluded.