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Aus: Welfare MoU overshadowed by TV cruelty

Footage on Australian TV last night obtained by Animals Australia showed what they describe as "the cruel conditions endured by breeding pigs in factory farms in Australia".

The footage, obtained illegally, showed a commercial piggery's sow stalls, which Australian Pork Ltd chief executive Andrew Spencer agreed was "filthy" but was not indicative of how the industry operated. Spencer defended the use of sow stalls as a means of protecting sows from their naturally aggressive behaviour towards each other.

However, Animals Australia executive director, Glenys Oogjes, said the pig industry had made Australian consumers complicit in animal cruelty without their knowledge or permission. "Politicians and pig producers may think it acceptable to treat animals this way, but an informed community will not," she said.

The footage comes at the same time as the Australian federal government aims to improve live export animal welfare. Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with his Bahraini counterpart, Dr Juma Ahmed Al Kaabi, at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) World Food Summit in Rome.

The MoU with Bahrain sets out arrangements for live export trade and includes guidelines for the offloading of Australian live animals arriving in the Middle East. “The welfare of animals extends past their destination port to their post arrival and handling and improving these standards is key to our live animal export trade,” Burke said.

Editor PigProgress


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    Lets get this straight. There cannot be 'welfare' when there is NO animal welfare legislation in the Middle East to secure protection so how can there be enforcement to ensure an MoU. Any agreement is for propaganda purposes and inspired by Australia no doubt.

    The footage depicting the horror endured by pigs was filmed in a pig factory prison where pigs are forced to live in their crap and urine day in and day out...their appalling suffering allows the farmer to make more money. Australia has no idea about 'animal welfare'. The country is run by farmers and supporters, the govt kowtowering to their every wish. Australia is essentially on the same level as Asia and we all know how bloody awful Asia is in terms of looking after animals. By the way the footage was taken by a woman who was supported in every way by Police who laid 4 animal cruelty charges against the miserable farmer..so whats with the 'illegal' stuff? A typical Australian strategy of turning attention of the real issue to the irrelevant. SHAME ON AUSTRALIA AND THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT.

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    Sue Lantzke

    Of course the footage had to be obtained illegally... this shows someone's trying to hide something ... otherwise we'd all have ready access.

    If the stall was "filthy" but not indicative of how the industry operated, then what was it indicative of? Spencer can deflect all the questions, and justify how the industry operates, however, it is cruel and inhumane and there's no denying that.

    And if in fact the stalls are a means for the sows not wounding each other, then perhaps he could explain why they are so small, and why the sows can't move or stand or turn around. Surely larger stalls would have the same effect (stopping the sows inflicting wounds - if that is in fact the reason).

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