Investigation into Animal Mishandling Clears Australian Company05 April 2013
ISRAEL - An investigation into alleged mishandling of cattle that were exported from Australia to an abattoir in Israel has found there were no breaches of the animal welfare guidelines by the Australian company.
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) carried out the investigation and has now released a report in response to a complaint about animal handling and slaughter practices at the Israeli abattoir, which processes Australian sourced livestock.
In December 2012 the RSPCA alleged animal handling and slaughter practices at the Bakar Tnuva abattoir in Israel were inconsistent with international animal welfare and Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) guidelines.
The abattoir is included in an ESCAS for cattle for Australian livestock exporter, Elders International Australia Limited.
DAFF said the alleged breaches occurred before the first consignment of cattle exported to Israel under ESCAS arrived in the country.
Because of this, the film footage released by the RSPCA does not represent a breach of ESCAS and no regulatory action will be taken, DAFF said.
While there was no breach of ESCAS, the Israeli Government is investigating the alleged breaches of international animal welfare standards and this matter is before a court in Israel.
The Israeli Government is continuing to liaise with the Australian Government.
The department added that the abattoir has undertaken improvements to its infrastructure and processes and subsequent additional independent audits of the abattoir have shown that the abattoir is compliant with ESCAS.
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