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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 1707

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. In view of the extreme cruelty which was associated with the transhipment of a consignment of donkeys from Western Australia to

Victoria will the Minister confer with the Australian Road Hauliers Association and the various State railway commissioners to consider placing a ban on the transport of such stock when it is obvious that severe travel hardship will cause a high mortality rate?

Senator CAVANAGH -I think that the question is related to the donkeys which went from Derby in Western Australia to Alice Springs. A number of them were in such poor condition when they were landed at Alice Springs, as a result of the journey, that they died. The Commonwealth Railways accepts livestock for carriage only after a report has been furnished by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It will not accept some animals. The transportation of livestock by road hauliers comes under legislation controlled by the State Ministers for Transport. This question has been taken up with the Western Australian Minister for Transport to see whether something can be done. The track by which the animals were taken to Alice Springs was across a desert. It is thought that the journey put them in such poor condition that they could not be freighted further south until their condition improved. The Minister for Transport has cognisance of such matters at all times. The Commonwealth Railways will accept livestock for carriage only after a report has been furnished by the RSPCA.

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