The Cattle Council of Australia (
) has expressed its opposition to halt live meat exports to
Indonesia following the release of a new video of animal cruelty
in the south east Asian nation. CCA Vice President Peter Hall
said in lieu of a blanket ban which would be bad for the cattle
industry, new procedures could identify the erring
Footage of two abattoirs in Jakarta shot in January showed
cattle being mistreated at the Temur Petir Abattoir, according to
Animals Australia which engaged the services of an Indonesian
investigator. The video showed a slaughterman struggling to
position an Australian cow into a restraint by using a knife
The animal's throat was cut without stunning the cow. Flesh
was cut from its neck while the animal was still moaning in pain
for a few minutes. The cow had an Australian ear tag and was a
droughtmaster steer, which is a breed of animals exported from
Western Australia to Indonesia.
It is the second video of animal cruelty in Indonesia. The
first video led to a two-month ban on cattle export to Indonesia,
which affected cattle raisers in Australia. It was released
by Lyn White, campaign director of Animals Australia, which was
shot in 11 different Indonesian slaughterhouses and shown over
ABC's Four Corners programme.
The second video was aired by ABC Television on Tuesday night.
The video showed 46 potential violations of the Australian
government's new checklist designed to protect animals exported
overseas. The establishment of the new benchmarks led to the
lifting of the export prohibition made in June 2011.
Bidda Jones, chief scientist of RSPCA, said the breaches
include the use of Mark 1 boxes, the animal not being stunned
prior to its killing, the use of water prior to slaughter,
restraining for more than 10 seconds, interference of the
slaughtermen with the wound before the animal is confirmed dead
and lack of confirmation of the beast's death.
Australian Agriculture Joe Ludwig said his office is
investigating the complaint. Ms White said the latest video would
give Australians the right to feel betrayed because despite
government assurance, the cruel treatment of Australian cattle
when exported goes on.
Australian Greens pushed for the suspension of the live animal
exports which is valued at $340 million yearly. Greens Senator
Lee Rhiannon said a total ban on exports would not destroy the
industry because local abattoirs would reopen instead.
The focus of the industry on live export trade since the 1980s
caused the loss of 40,000 meat industry jobs in Australia.
Through an export ban, the economic benefits would return to
Australia, insisted Mr Rhiannon. However, Live Exports Council
Chief Executive Alison Penfold said the senator's comments were
Industry groups rejected the suggestion since the new rules
allow the government to address the problem with individual
"The beauty of the system now is that it we have one falling
down on one particular system somewhere, it's only part of the
cog.... That can be dealt with separate to the industry," said
CCA Vice President Peter Hall.
"Now we are in a position where there is a system of
regulation put in place by the Australian government. If there
are problems identified, there is a rule book and there are
penalties involved," Reuters quoted Northern Territory
Cattlemen's Association President Luke Bowen.