Cattle stunning proposal placed on hold
15 Jul, 2011
Source: The Advertiser
A PLAN to make stunning of animals compulsory before slaughtering has been deferred for three months. .
A meeting of federal and state agriculture ministers in Perth yesterday rejected a South Australian bid to institute national mandatory stunning immediately.
SA Agriculture Minister Michael O'Brien had moved for the national policy, saying it was hypocritical of Australia to insist exported cattle and animals should be stunned before being slaughtered when there were abattoirs here still engaged in ritual slaughtering.
It is understood NSW, Victoria and WA expressed reservations about the SA proposal. There is intense lobbying in the eastern states, especially from the Jewish community, to ensure kosher slaughter of animals, where their throats are cut and they are left to bleed to death, be allowed to continue.
In an communique released after the meeting, the ministerial council stated it had discussed domestic arrangements for ritual slaughter and asked officials to finalise consultations with stakeholders and report to the first meeting of the standing council on primary industries.
This meeting will probably be in October.
Mr O'Brien said opponents of the move said they were not familiar with the scientific evidence on ritual slaughter, despite the NZ Government already accepting evidence that ritual slaughter without stunning caused significant distress to animals. "I think I have gingered them up a bit," he said. "There is an acceptance that we can't allow this issue to ride along unresolved.
"The Australian community is no longer prepared to accept these practices.
"There is no real excuse any more for state and Commonwealth ministers to skirt around the issue."
More than 300 people rallied at Perth's Langley Park as federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig met state ministers at a nearby hotel.
After the rally some of the farmers marched to the hotel to try to confront Mr Ludwig with their concerns about the live export trade.
After the meeting, the ministerial communique stated the Commonwealth and states would continue to work with the industry to monitor and address the impact of the suspension and resumption of trade for live animal exports to Indonesia.
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