Saturday, 5 May 2012

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) MUST take action

In the last few months I posted several times about the Gracia Del Mar tragedy in which thousands of cattle died.  CIWF have reported that over 20,000 of you wrote to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about tragedy asking them to resolve the appalling situation and ensure that their guidelines to protect transported animals are properly enforced.  The OIE did absolutely nothing.

Since this tragedy CIWF have received footage of inhumane animal slaughter in Egypt, the destination of the Gracia del Mar.  The footage is so shocking and described as "the worst that Compassion has ever seen; completely in breach of international slaughter guidelines and so utterly horrific that we are unable to show it publicly."  Once again it is down to the OIE to take action as they are responsible for the development of the slaughter guidelines, once again they are failing abysmally.

CIWF have received reports that the animals who survived the Gracia del Mar tragedy may be returned to Egypt to face these disgraceful slaughter conditions.

It is time for us, once again, to contact the OIE and tell them this is far from acceptable.  The OIE have a conference next month and CIWF are doing everything in their power to ensure they address their failings on transport and slaughter.  Please click here to contact the OIE, CIWF have provided bullet points to include in the message but to make it easier I have created a template e-mail you can use below so please copy and paste this in the box if you don't have the time to compose your own message.

Subject: Animal Welfare during transport and slaughter

Dear Dr Vallat,

It is with great anguish that I have been following the developments of the Gracia del Mar vessel containing thousands of animals who died, I am extremely angry and disappointed at your seeming lack of action during this occurrence.  I am pleased that the OIE have developed guidelines on animal welfare but it is very disappointing that these guidelines are not being implemented.  The OIE have a responsbibility to mediate between member states when a situation such as the Gracia del Mar disaster occurs, however, the only visible response to this disaster was vague press statement one month after the event.  It is still unclear what happened and whether or not you actually took any action, will this ever be explained?  

I have been prompted to write to you after hearing about the acquisition of evidence of extremely cruel slaughter practices in Egypt received by Compassion in World Farming.  These sickeningly cruel slaughter practices seriously breach OIE guidelines on both transport and slaughter, these are not isolated cases as CIWF have informed the OIE about cruel slaughter practices that breach OIE guidelines in several countries.  A World Bank report has revealed that there are serious animal welfare problems in a range of countries across the world, the report concludes that animal welfare at all the slaughter facilities visited "requires significant improvement".

It is likely that the cattle which survived the Gracia del Mar tragedy are heading to Egypt to be slaughtered, in light of the evidence of inhumane slaughter practices in this country the OIE must take steps to ensure that these animals, who suffered enough on the sea journey, aren't subjected to such practices.

I strongly feel that the OIE must do more to ensure that its member countries implement the guidelines.  Your global conference on animal welfare in November is an ideal opportunity to focus on this issue.  It is vital that the conference produces a strong commitment by OIE member countries to comply with OIE recommendations, as well as a clear action plan as to how animal welfare across the world can be dramatically improved.

Thank you for your time.

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