News24

Aus urged to ban cattle exports to Egypt

2012-11-06 19:23

Cairo - A US-based animal rights group on Tuesday urged Australia to ban livestock exports to Egypt where a government-tasked committee is recommending the ears of hormone-treated cattle be chopped off.

Egyptian newspapers say the committee made the recommendation in a bid to rid livestock imported from Australia of hormone implants found in their ears.

But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged Australia's government to ban cattle imports to Egypt to avoid the practice.

"In light of these recent reports, we ask you to take immediate action to use your influence to place a ban on all exports of Australian animals to Egypt," Peta's Jason Becker wrote in a letter to Australia's ambassador in Cairo.

Australia halted live cattle exports to Egypt over cruelty concerns after images of animals having their eyes poked out and tendons slashed by Egyptian workers were aired on Australian television in 2006.

Two years later the then agriculture minister said Australia would resume the exports under new conditions designed to safeguard the treatment of the animals and agreed to by the Australian and Egyptian governments.

According to the US Food and and Drug's Administration's website, meat from cattle treated with dissolving hormone tablets implanted in ears is safe to eat and the ears are discarded when the animal is slaughtered.

Australia's live export trade is worth about US$1bn a year and employs thousands of people.

Peta's appeal came as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard demanded on Tuesday that Pakistan investigate and explain the brutal killing of 21 000 Australian sheep in Karachi, a slaughter officials have described as appalling.