WARNING – Graphic footage of animal suffering shown in the video footage.
Australia’s ABC1′s Four Corners exposé of the treatment of Australian
cattle exported live to Indonesia showed a damning picture of this trade.
Animals Australia and RSPCA Australia jointly launched a campaign to ban
live animal export.
The Four Corners exposé featured never-before seen footage from Animals
Australia’s recent investigation (with Tracks Investigations)into the live
cattle trade to Indonesia. It also included Four Corners’ own footage,
taken a month later in the same abattoirs and showing similar atrocities
as Animals Australia’s investigators had witnessed.
Please watch the Four Corners exposé of the treatment of Australian cattle
And join the Ban Live Export campaign
to help us end this trade.
Independents Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon have announced that they will
introduce legislation to both houses of Federal Parliament to ban live
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig announced the suspension of live cattle
exports to the 11 Indonesian abattoirs investigated by ABC’s Four Corners.
Please sign up.
Doco reveals Australian cattle tortured overseas
By Anne Worthington for Four Corners
Updated Mon May 30, 2011 4:29pm AEST
Animals Australia filmed in 11 randomly chosen abattoirs in Indonesia and provided the footage to Four Corners (ABC TV)
- Related Story: Export industry ‘caught out’ by horrific footage
- Related Story: Cruelty prompts cattle shipments suspension
- Related Link: Four Corners: A Bloody Business
Horrific footage from inside Indonesian abattoirs that use Australian cattle has revealed abuse of the animals is widespread.
Footage to be aired on ABC1′s Four Corners tonight shows animals kicked, thrashed and beaten, their throats hacked at, eyes gouged and tails broken.
According to analysis of the footage by RSPCA chief scientist Bidda Jones, some animals show signs of possible consciousness when they are dismembered.
In March this year, animal welfare campaigners Animals Australia filmed in 11 randomly chosen abattoirs in Indonesia and provided the footage to Four Corners.
More than a month later, a Four Corners team went to Indonesia and filmed in abattoirs where cattle suffered prolonged and painful deaths.
Animals Australia spokeswoman Lyn White brought Egypt’s live export trade to a halt in 2006 after exposing animal cruelty in Cairo.
She says her suspicions were raised after the live export industry released a report in January describing animal welfare in Indonesia as generally good.
“We had assumed that because there were greater level of industry involvement in Indonesia, the treatment of the livestock would have been better,” she said.
“But we couldn’t have been more wrong.”
The abattoirs featured on Four Corners are well-known to the Australian industry, which has installed equipment and provided training in Indonesian abattoirs to help with the handling of Australian cattle since 2000.
The live export industry was shown the vision from four Indonesian abattoirs prior to an interview.
LiveCorp CEO Cameron Hall described the scenes as “graphic and disturbing”, and announced the suspension of the supply of Australian cattle to three of the four abattoirs.
The fourth abattoir, Gondrong in Jakarta, was the scene of sustained suffering by Australian animals.
When asked why Gondrong is continuing to process Australian cattle, Mr Hall says training can address the issues.
A statement released by industry last week said: “A team of Australian cattle experts will fly to Indonesia this weekend to deliver this training to priority facilities, including this facility.”
But Four Corners has revealed the facility has already been visited six times by industry representatives in the past 14 months.
There are 100 abattoirs in Indonesia that slaughter Australian animals. Since the trade began 20 years ago, more than 6.5 million cattle have been shipped to Indonesia for slaughter.
Big bucks and metal boxes
Indonesia isAustralia’s key market for live cattle exports, taking 60 per cent of all cattle, and in 2010, the trade was worth more than $300 million.
The Australian livestock export industry and the Australian Government have invested more than $4 million into improving animal welfare in Indonesia over the past 10 years.
The majority of funding has been invested into Australian-designed metal restraining boxes.
The RSPCA says the boxes are inadequate and stunning the animal prior to slaughter is the only humane option.
There are currently only six Indonesian abattoirs that use stunning.
Last week the industry launched its welfare action plan, which included providing stunning equipment to five additional abattoirs by the end of this year.
The new plan also says from 2015, Australian livestock will only be supplied to facilities who meet the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) standards.
But Indonesia is already a signatory to the OIE.
Animals Australia spokeswoman Glenys Oogjes says Australia has no power to make Indonesia comply with these guidelines.
“The OIE guidelines are minimal standards for developing countries that allow practices that are illegal in Australia to take place,” she said.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said in budget estimates last week that he had been concerned about the live animal trade for some time and criticised the industry for being too slow in addressing welfare concerns.
But in April, during a speech to the Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association in Darwin, he reiterated the Australian Government’s continued support of the live export trade.
“The live animal export sector is the backbone of many rural and regional communities across Australia, including northern Australia, as it provides a valuable market option for producers,” he said.
Watch the full report on Four Corners tonight at 8.30pm on ABC1.
First posted Mon May 30, 2011 3:34pm AEST