Australia: Moves to implement stunning before report

A BUSINESS relationship between an Australian and Indonesian company both intimately involved in the live export trade continues to make giant strides in efficiency improvements due to their decision to self-impose codes of practice in relation to animal welfare and other safety issues prior to the Government ban in June.

Kentmaster Australia s operations manager Scott Booth and sales manager Warren Farr, with one of the stunners being supplied to Indonesian abattoirs.

Warren Farr, the sales manager of Brisbane-based stunning equipment supplier Kentmaster Australia, says arrangements were already in place with its Indonesian agent, Pt. Agro Giri Perkasa (AGP), to introduce mandatory preslaughter stunning as a supply requirement well before the Federal Government suspended the trade for a month based on Indonesian abattoir cruelty allegations.

Mr Farr said a supply order for pneumatic non-penetrating stunners was lodged by their Indonesian agent months before the airing of animal cruelty on ABC Television which led to the devastating trade halt. He said the stunners were destined for several Indonesian abattoirs that process Australian cattle, not only to improve animal welfare but to help enhance productivity gains and improve worker safety.

“It was at the time recognised that the benefits to do so weren’t just an animal welfare issue, but also encompassed other aspects such as slaughter floor/staff safety, animal handling, halal, religious and cultural beliefs, lack of refrigeration facilities and meat quality,” he said. “With the announcement of the Farmer report and the Government stating it will introduce all 14 recommendations, a number of interested parties in the supply chain (as stated in the media), are concerned that mandatory preslaughter stunning was not one of the recommendations, and believe that the Government needs to open discussion with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as soon as possible to have this introduced.”

Mr Farr said he was heartened by a report in the September 29 edition of Queensland Country Life that highlighted the growing acceptance of preslaughter stunning within the Indonesian beef supply chain.