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CIWF Accuses OIE of Failing Animals?

22 May 2012

GLOBAL - In the latest animal welfare disaster to hit the live export trade, an estimated 2,000 cattle died aboard the Gracia del Mar, a ship carrying more than 5,000 animals on the marathon but regular trade route from Brazil to Egypt. Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) said the lack of action by Brazilian and Egyptian authorities, the ship’s owner and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to protect the welfare of the cattle in this case was unacceptable and staggering.

CIWF is calling on the OIE, which is holding its 80th General Session in Paris on 20-25 May, to correct its disastrously ineffective reaction to incidents of this kind to avoid more needless suffering.

The charity also has shocking footage from slaughterhouses in Egypt which suggest even if these huge journeys go according to plan cattle may well be subjected to inept and cruel slaughter at their destination.

The footage, which CIWF says much of is too distressing to release, shows cattle in an Egyptian slaughterhouse being beaten – very hard – on the head with a large pole while other animals have their leg tendons slashed. Also in Egypt, it shows cattle being stabbed repeatedly in the neck until finally they collapse to the ground. This is despite Egypt being a signatory of the OIE’s slaughter regulations.

Dil Peeling, CIWF’s Director of Public Affairs, said: “As soon as we found out about this crisis unfolding in the Red Sea, we raised the alarm with the Egyptian and Brazilian authorities, the OIE and the owners of the Gracia Del Mar. We were ignored by some or given platitudes. It seems very much like everyone wanted to pass the buck far more than they wanted to help the surviving animals who were on the stricken ship in the Red Sea.”

The OIE recently put out a statement acknowledging CIWF’s concerns over long distance live transport and the Gracia Del Mar case. But Compassion was disappointed that its intervention came far too late to save several hundred cattle from needless suffering.

”When you compare this statement with the response we got from the OIE as this tragedy was unfolding, it’s hard not to see it as hot air,” adds Mr Peeling, “when we contacted them originally, we were told the relevant people we needed to talk to were out of the country and didn’t have access to email. For an organisation that sees itself as a promoter of good animal welfare that is an unacceptable response.

“We want the OIE to step up to the plate and actively help us ensure this doesn’t and won’t happen again. At the moment, they’re talking a good game but not much else. They also need to pressure countries to adhere to the guidelines on slaughter that they have adopted to ensure animals are not subjected to such horrific treatment at the most vulnerable time of their lives.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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