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17 June 2016
The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) has been shocked and dismayed by the footage and revelations aired on last night’s 7.30 report of cattle slaughter in Vietnam. The report identified a number of issues potentially involving Australian cattle, including abhorrent practices and livestock illegally removed from supply chains and approved facilities managed under the Australian Exporter Supply Chain Assurance (ESCAS) regulations.
Practices shown are repugnant and totally unacceptable to cattle producers, we do not condone such practices exacted upon our cattle or any other cattle for that matter, and it must be fixed, said NTCA President Tom Stockwell.
Since 2011, Australia has had a world first ESCAS system in place and this requires exporters to ensure our cattle are managed through accredited supply chains in live export markets. As producers we depend on this regulatory system to provide a guarantee of standards. The NTCA supports the Department of Agriculture to exercise the full force of the law to rectify these breaches and make guilty parties accountable for abusing cattle we have raised, said Mr. Stockwell.
The NTCA acknowledges the significant improvements to animal welfare standards in our live export markets, including the role that this has played in influencing the management of local cattle in many of these countries. This is a big and ongoing task in which Australia is doing more than any other to drive change. The NTCA is actively involved in influencing change and thinking in international markets and we are committed to achieving full transparency across the entire supply chain in all our markets.
Good animal welfare is fundamental to cattle producers of the NT and live export underpins the families and livelihoods of producers and communities across Northern Australia, said Mr. Stockwell.
The NTCA supports strong regulation in export markets and we support exporters to continually improve their standards.
The NTCA believes more can be done to provide greater clarity and transparency for our members and assist exporters in their vital work to raise standards. The NTCA has initiated discussions across industry and encourage the export industry to work with producers to develop a Producer Assurance Program, allowing producers to have a clear line sight to their markets at all times, building strong relationships between producers and exporters and ensuring the future of the live export sector, said Mr. Stockwell.