Danby on animal welfare

June 17, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has made a speech in Federal Parliament on supervisory regulations of the live export trade, raising the recent allegations of mistreatment of animals in Israel.

Michael Danby in parliament

Michael Danby in parliament

Michael Danby told parliament , “When I heard of the Israeli allegations, I contacted the Israeli Embassy to inquire as to the facts and ask what had happened in Israel as a result of the revelations. I was told the Israeli Minister for Agriculture had already announced an investigation into both the abattoir and the veterinarian responsible for overseeing conditions in it. The Israelis said that Dabbagh abattoir in the Israeli Arab town of Deir al-Assad has been closed pending the outcome of that investigation. Of course, Israel has a legal framework in regards to animal cruelty, like Australia. In light of these revelations, the Israeli Agriculture Minister has announced an increase in penalties for mistreatment of animals.”

On Monday, Labor’s Agriculture spokesperson Joel Fitzgibbon moved a motion calling for quarterly reports by the Agriculture Minister on any allegations of animal welfare breaches and investigations undertaken, and any actions taken against those who have breached—or should have prevented breaches of—Australian standards. Mr Fitzgibbon also called on the Government to appoint an Inspector-General for Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports.

In his speech, Mr Danby said, “A strong regulatory system is good for animal welfare, it’s good for farmers and it’s good for exporters. The humane treatment of livestock is entirely compatible with maintaining a sustainable agricultural sector in this country.”

“Animal welfare is more than just red tape”, he said. “Animal welfare demands more than just fleeting consideration on animals as food production. Proper animal welfare should be a standard to which any self-respecting Government should strive to achieve, indeed it is in the enlightened self-interest of the industry that adequate regulations be enforced.”

Senator Cory Bernardi’s progress with his inquiry into kosher and halal food is at this time indeterminate.

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