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Russia bans kangaroo meat imports …again

The Animal Justice Party (AJP) and animal protection institute Voiceless have separately announced that Russia is imposing a new ban on the importation of kangaroo meat from Australia on grounds of fraudulent and deceptive conduct.

According to Mark Pearson, AJP NSW senate candidate, Yury Aleshin, Chief of the Agriculture Ministry at the Russian Embassy confirmed the report again at press time. Voiceless cited the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, and media comments by Russia’s agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

Around 1860 kg of meat were discovered in Russia sourced from unapproved plants via companies linked to Australian company Macro Meats, according to the AJP.

AJP President Steve Garlick said Macro Meats and the Russians had a strict agreement based on food safety and welfare grounds to export meat from one plant only (and not to include shot females and joeys).  The decision follows two former bans in 2008 and 2009 after bacterial contamination of meat was detected.

Ray Borda, general manager of Macro Meats, was quoted by the ABC saying that the shipments were bound for Europe and were mistakenly sent to Russia by his company. He said he had not been notified of a ban at the end of July. The Australian Department of Agriculture also told the same ABC report that it has not been notified

“The commercial kangaroo industry has been plagued with contamination issues, but of more concern is the inherent cruelty allowed to occur against kangaroos and their joeys,” said Dana Campbell, Voiceless Chief Executive Officer.

Professor Garlick noted that both Labor and Coalition governments have provided financial and lobbying support for the kangaroo killing industry in a pitch for rural votes and that the Greens have not opposed this brutal industry.

Russia has been the largest importer of kangaroo meat, propping up an industry that gives Australia the unenviable badge of hosting the largest land-based wildlife slaughter in the world.

AJP members have been instrumental in providing evidence to the Russians about conditions in the commercial kangaroo killing industry.

Image credit: Eric in SF

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