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Australia: Ministers to discuss banning religious exemptions from stunning

27/10/11   www.abc.net.au

Australia’s primary industries ministers tomorrow will discuss whether to ban religious exemptions from stunning animals at Australian abattoirs.

Currently, some abattoirs are allowed to slaughter animals without stunning under exemptions for kosher and halal meat.

The slaughterhouses with exemptions are in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.

RSPCA Australia scientific officer Melina Tensen says the Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig should stop the export of non-stunned meat.

“We think the majority of unstunned slaughter is actually destined for export,” she said.

“Even just ruling out the export market would mean that most of the animals currently not being stunned prior to slaughter would actually have to be stunned.”

Senator Ludwig has confirmed that tomorrow’s ministerial meeting in Melbourne will discuss religious exemptions from stunning, but he won’t comment on what might be decided.

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