Vietnam continues to mistreat live Australian cattle

By VnExpress   December 27, 2016 | 10:08 am GMT+7
Vietnam continues to mistreat live Australian cattle
Photo by Reuters/Tim Wimborne

Animal rights advocates say Vietnam's ongoing cattle abuse represents a 'mockery' of the system.

Vietnam's cattle supply chain remains riddled with animal welfare violations, Farm Online reported Monday.

The Southeast Asian nation is among Australia’s fastest growing live cattle markets, despite huge gaps in the country's ability to humanely handle and slaughter the animals.

Between March and August, 16 of the 18 non-compliance reports filed with Australia’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) involved Vietnamese facilities, Farm Online reported; the remaining two were in Malaysia.

Video footage emerged in June of this year that depicted Australian cattle being bludgeoned to death in Vietnamese abattoirs, leading Australia’s Department of Agriculture to suspend trade at three exporters.

The department banned two unnamed Australian exporters and an unapproved facility under ESCAS rules from supplying cattle to Vietnam.

ESCAS was designed to ensure that exported Australian livestock are handled in accordance with international standards and to provide a mechanism to deal with animal welfare issues when they occur.

But Farm Online quoted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as saying the history of "strikes with no prosecution" represented "a mockery" of the entire system.

Vietnam's annual consumption of Australian cows leapt from just over 1,400 to 283,000 in the past five years.

CEO of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Simon Westaway told Farm Online that Australian authorities investigate every incident reported by the industry, third parties or discovered through auditing.

Westaway added that the council had suspended exports to "more than 20 facilities in Vietnam, including a number of feedlots and abattoirs."

A number of Australian exporters of live cattle were also told to cease supply to Vietnam until effective measures were put in place to address animal control, traceability and verification.

“Cruelty is simply not acceptable, which is why it is important Australian exporters continue our work in emerging markets like Vietnam, where our presence and ongoing levels of training and investment in the supply chain is helping to drive unprecedented improvements in livestock handling and slaughter practices.” Westaway was quoted as saying.

Related news:

> Australian cattle firms banned from exporting to Vietnam