Animal welfare standards at Tasmanian abattoir needs urgent review

Media release date: 
Thursday, 04 May 2017

Australia’s peak veterinary organisation, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), has described the vision of dairy calves being badly treated at a Tasmanian abattoir as completely unacceptable.

“Like all Australians, veterinarians were appalled by the images portrayed of the inappropriate handling of dairy calves shown on Channel Seven’s news program last night,” said Dr Alan Guilfoyle, President of the Australian Cattle Veterinarians.

“Any breaches of animal welfare legislation need to be taken seriously, and sanctions imposed. We’re pleased to learn that the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is investigating the allegations and expect that appropriate action will be taken.

 “Animal welfare standards need to be continually improving and mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure this can’t happen again,” he said.

“If the systems intended to protect animal welfare fail, there needs to be an urgent response. This includes close monitoring of animal welfare at abattoirs and regular training and auditing of slaughter floor staff.

“We’re hopeful that national abattoir standards currently being developed will address some of these issues. It’s crucial that veterinarians are involved in this process.”

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or media@ava.com.au.


The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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