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Agriculture Ministry Suspends Air Transports of Live Cattle to Israel

27 December 2016

ISRAEL - Due to concerns about animal welfare on a recent air transport of cattle from Hungary, the Agriculture Ministry has temporarily grounded all such live shipments to Israel.

The specific case in question involved a flight last Wednesday morning that left Hungary for Israel with about 1,200 calves on board. During the flight, an abnormal number of the calves died, according to the ministry.

As a result, officials decided to stop all air shipments of live animals to Israel until Veterinary Services and the ministry’s plant and animal control unit conclude their investigation into the matter.

In addition to the temporary shipment ban, the ministry said it would be reiterating relevant procedures of conduct to cattle importers.

“The issue of animal welfare is on our minds,” Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said on Sunday.

“Agriculture Ministry procedures are stringent, and professionals in the ministry are working all the time to safeguard the welfare of animals.”

With hopes of decreasing the shipments of live calves and thereby minimizing the distress of animals, the ministry said it has increased the import volumes of already slaughtered meat products to Israel. The ministry has also authorized about 20 additional plants in Europe to export such meat to Israel and is working to increase the shelf life of chilled products imported from South America.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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