Hello Horse Lovers,
Well, like most people who heard the story of what happened to Blas Lago and Northern Hector at Werribee late last year, I was absolutely horrified and distraught. If you haven’t heard the story, you could always google it, but my advice is to take refuge in blissful ignorance and sign this petition in good faith. I for one, wish I hadn’t heard about it as it cost me a lot of lost sleep. Naturally, this raised conversation within the equestrian community and I learned that most people either directly or indirectly had heard of horses being stolen from properties and taken to knackeries in exchange for a quick buck, most likely to be exchanged for drugs by desperate, sick people.
This led me to investigate the regulations surrounding the pet food industry and I am afraid to advise that at present, there is no legislation whatsoever in place for a knackery to verify ownership of an animal, or obtain consent from an owner before ‘processing’ it.
Anybody at all can phone a knackery, give out your address and while you are at work, your animals can be loaded on to a truck and ‘processed’ within hours. They can load your horses on to a float and hand them over to the knackery without any questions being asked. This has been confirmed to me by Brendan Ryan of Primesafe Victoria, who are the governing authority of the pet food industry in Victoria. If you review the Australian Standard for the Hygienic production of Pet Meat (PISC Technical Report 88 Amended 2009) you will see that although under Australian standards knackeries are required to confirm where the animal came from for recall purposes, there is absolutely no provision at all for verifying ownership or consent. I don’t know about you but this scares the bajeezus out of me!
For months I have been handballed around by Primesafe, local government and even the police because nobody wants to take responsibility for this, however what I have learned is that it is Primesafe’s legislation that needs to be changed, but that the changes need to be imposed by government. What I propose to do is gather as many names as I can and create a petition to be submitted to both the local government and also DPI Buyer Security in the hope that the legislation governing this industry can be amended so that a knackery cannot accept an animal and remit payment for an animal without first verifying ownership of that animal and consent from the owner to have that animal processed.