Mark IV box humane if used right

STAFF REPORTERThe West Australian

A review the use of Mark IV-type boxes by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has found they provide a humane animal welfare tool for restraint and slaughter, provided they are operated correctly.

The review was undertaken following concerns raised with Mark IV boxes during DAFF's investigation in 2012 into animal welfare concerns at four abattoirs in Indonesia.

In his findings, released last week, Australia's chief veterinary officer found that if boxes were not being operated in line with the Mark IV manufacturer's instructions or do not have all the features of the original Mark IV box, for example, copy boxes or modified boxes, then acceptable animal welfare outcomes may not be achieved.

DAFF accepts, in principle, all recommendations in the review and has arrangements in place to address the issues found.

As part of these arrangements, exporters will have 30 days to assess all Mark IV type boxes in their supply chains against the recommendations of the review to verify they are being used appropriately and have all necessary design features, and if required, rectify any deficiencies.

DAFF said the effectiveness and correct use of Mark IV-type boxes would continue to be verified under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System by independent auditors.

It said refinements have been made to the checklist to enhance the guidance provided to independent auditors specifically around the ACVO findings.

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