Australia suspends 18 facilities in Vietnam for animal cruelty: Embassy

By Lam Le   June 25, 2016 | 06:29 pm PT
Australia has suspended livestock supply to 18 abattoirs and feedlots in Vietnam as investigation into alleged animal cruelty by the former continues, the Australiam Embassy told VnExpress International.

Australia has suspended supply of its cattle to six abattoirs accused of animal cruelty by Animals Australia and further 10 approved abattoirs and one feedlot each in Phu Xuyen (Hanoi) and the northern port city of Hai Phong.

"There is sufficient evidence to believe the cattle are Australian and that ESCAS control and traceability requirements and animal welfare requirements are not being met," Amy Guihot, agricultural counsellor from Australian Embassy in Hanoi told VnExpress International via email. 

The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) is designed to ensure that exported Australian livestock are handled in accordance with international animal welfare standards and to provide a mechanism to deal with animal welfare issues when they occur.

Exporters have been directed by the government to ensure that "any Australian cattle remaining in the suspended facilities are either removed or humanely slaughtered," the Australian Embassy said.

"The suspensions at this stage apply only to the above mentioned facilities," Amy Guihot said, adding it will continue until the investigation is complete or "there is enough information available to make informed decisions about various supply chain participants."

Any approved slaugherhouses found to commit animal cruelty will be prone to a permanent ban from Australia, said Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) in its media release dated June 17.

"Other [...] approved facilities in Vietnam are still able to receive Australian cattle," the Embassy added. 

The Australian government has also informed exporters and Australian industry about the accusation, which is considered "serious" in nature. 

The move follows a complaint, including video evidence, filed by Animal Australia earlier this month stating that Australian cattle are being supplied to non-approved abattoirs, and that non-compliant handling and slaughter of Australian cattle is occurring at 13 approved and non-approved abattoirs in Phu Xuyen District, Hanoi.

Animals Australia describes the cow as "frantic, terrified and utterly helpless". Photo by Animals Australia

Animals Australia describes the cow as "frantic, terrified and utterly helpless". Photo by Animals Australia

The Embassy noted that the Australian live exporters are working with Vietnamese importers and government to improve animal welfare practices in Vietnam as "Australia remains committed to the live cattle trade with Vietnam."

According to the Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, Viet Nam was the second largest live cattle importer of Australia in the fiscal year 2014-2015 with 309,505 heads, valued at AUD328 million.

Related news:

Australia to permanently ban livestock supply to Vietnam's "cruel" slaughterhouses

Australia blocks Vietnam slaughterhouses for animal cruelty

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