22 January 2018 – The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) CEO Patrick Hutchinson is standing alongside industry counterparts right across the supply chain of agriculture, in calling for the immediate shut down of Aussie Farms’ shaming website which implies a connection between these sites identified and animal cruelty.
The Aussie Farms’ interactive online map of abattoirs, farms and other facilities which launched yesterday, encourages people to trespass, take photos and gather other evidence at these locations then upload to their repository.
“This is not only irresponsible and a breach of privacy on all levels, but dangerous to both the activists themselves and the animals under care at these locations,” according to Mr Hutchinson.
AMIC is the peak council that represents retailers, processors and smallgoods manufacturers and is the only industry association representing the post-farmgate Australian meat industry.
Mr Hutchinson noted that Minister Litteproud’s media statement only called out the impact to farms and farmers and he wanted to clearly identify that the impact is far more reaching than that, with processing and abattoir facilities also mentioned on the shaming map.
“Our organisation and our members are held to the very highest standards of animal welfare, in all aspects of our operation. The impact of encouraging activist encroachment onto these sites hurts hundreds and in some cases thousands of employees and their families who are working to ensure a safe and consistent food supply for Australia and the rest of the world.
Abattoirs and meat processing facilities are bound by a range of biosecurity and work, health and safety regulations, that if violated, can have a major impact on these businesses and those trespassing.
He further noted, “it exposes unwarranted risk and confrontation to vulnerable workers that is not only isolated to the day of the protest or trespass. It can have long term far reaching physical and emotional consequences for all.”
Mr Hutchinson is equally sympathetic to those farming families noted by Minister Littleproud who may find themselves unable to consign livestock to processing facilities and the knock-on effect that may be felt all the way through to consumers. All this is on top of the already stressful conditions many are operating under the current drought situation.
AMIC is working with relevant parties to keep a watching brief on this issue.(ends) Further information: Patrick Hutchinson CEO | Australian Meat Industry Council | 0435 357 942 | firstname.lastname@example.org