Australia Suspends Live Cattle Exports to 11 Indonesian Slaughterhouses After Disturbing Abuse Video
Australia has suspended the export of live cattle to 11 Indonesian slaughterhouses following the release of disturbing video evidence from Indonesia and other countries proving many animals have been abused. An Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) investigation, aired on the program “Four Corners,” is being cited as the reason for the live trade suspension.
The program, which aired on Monday, showed cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses being kicked and whipped. One unfortunate cow which had broken its legs on the slaughterhouse floor had its tail broken, its eyes gouged and water poured in its nostrils. Other cattle were killed with dull knives.
Australian Senator Nick Xenophon (Independent- S. Australia) told the Sydney Morning Herald that the temporary export suspension to the 11 Indonesian slaughterhouses is ineffective and the entire live trade should be banned. Xenophon says animals are “being tortured.”
“There are 120 slaughterhouses in Indonesia, this order suspends trade to 11 of them,” Senator Xenophon said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “This is only a 9 per cent solution.”
“What we’ve seen in Indonesia is it’s so systemic, the system is so broken, the animal cruelty so widespread there doesn’t seem to be another choice,” he added. “It’s bad for Australia’s international reputation.”
Animals Australia and the RSPCA Australia, the nation’s top two animal welfare groups, have also joined forces to call for a ban on live animal exports after documenting shocking cases of abuse of animals exported from Australia to Asia and the Middle East. Lyn White of Animals Australia traveled to Indonesia and personally documented cases of Australian cattle being tortured and abused in horrific slaughterhouses.
To make things more personal for the viewer, five cattle were given names– Brian, Tommy, Bill, Arthur and Dudley– and their cruel fates were documented by investigators.
RSPCA Australia chief scientist Dr. Bidda Jones told the chilling tale of how Tommy “trembled in terror” as he watched other cattle being slaughtered.
“Whilst those who care about animals know that they can feel fear and distress, there are some that would like us to believe otherwise,” Jones narrated. “Tommy’s story provides indisputable evidence that animals, too, can experience terror and that they are cognizant of what goes on around them.”
Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of cattle. According to ABC, some 500,000 live cattle are shipped each year to Indonesia alone, a trade worth more than A$300 million (US$319.6 million) annually. Many of them are treated appallingly.
Indonesia has vowed to investigate the allegations of cruel and inhumane treatment of animals in slaughterhouses in the wake of the Australian export suspension.
“We will communicate intensively with the Australian government and we will show that we are making progress in animal welfare,” Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bayu Krisnamurthi told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’ll punish those proven to have committed animal cruelty,” Agriculture Ministry livestock department chief Prabowo Respatiyo Caturroso told Agence France-Presse.
Meanwhile, Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has ordered an investigation into the treatment of animals from their source in Australia through every step of the export process to Indonesia.
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