Greens MP and animal welfare spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says that measures announced today for NSW abattoirs by Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson are inadequate and will not be enough to end animal cruelty.
In February 2012 undercover footage obtained at the Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors gave the public an insight into the horrific cruelty allowed to occur behind closed doors in some NSW abattoirs. Animal welfare groups and the Greens immediately called for CCTV to be installed in all NSW abattoirs. The Greens are preparing legislation to make it a mandatory requirement.
"Why isn't the Minister prepared to open up abattoirs to tough independent scrutiny?" asked Ms Faehrmann.
"Without mandatory CCTV to record the handling of animals and slaughter at all times, and available for inspection by the authorities at any time, the public cannot be reassured that cruelty is not taking place.
"The Minister has announced that each abattoir has to appoint a trained Animal Welfare Officer to be on the premises while processing is occurring. This person will be employed by the abattoir. The Greens believe independent oversight is needed and at all times when animals are being handled not just 'processing'.
"Mandatory CCTV is an efficient way to provide independent oversight and to give the public confidence that cruelty will be policed properly.
"A requirement to comply with the mandatory adoption of the Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock Processing and improved training are positive steps but mandatory CCTV is necessary to ensure the standards are complied with," said Ms Faehrmann.
The footage shows sheep skinned alive, pigs beaten while fully concious and cattle jabbed repeatedly with electric prods. The NSW Greens consider $5200 a pathetic fine for such extreme breaches of the licence conditions. The abattoir should have had its licence revoked permanently and far greater penalties should apply.
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