PRESS RELEASE: Cattle Cruelty Continues in Indonesia

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On FEB 29, 2012

Animals Australia said fresh footage of the brutal slaughter of cattle in Indonesia proves the government's new system is unworkable and cannot provide animals with the most basic protections.

Campaign Director and Investigator, Lyn White, said it is deeply concerning that Animals Australia's first inspection of the system at work has revealed multiple breaches of new animal welfare standards.

"This new regulatory framework was supposed to provide protection for Australian cattle from brutal treatment in Indonesia. Australians will rightfully feel betrayed to know that despite government assurances, the cruel treatment of cattle is continuing.

"And let's face it -- these are very basic standards. They are not asking a lot of workers -- for a start -- just to make sure that animals are dead before they start cutting them up. But once again we have evidence that workers aren't even doing that."

The footage was obtained in late January by an Indonesian Investigator, engaged by Animals Australia, taken in three abattoirs in Jakarta. One of the abattoirs is believed to be part of an accredited supply chain, under the government's new regulatory framework.

"In one incident a worker is taunting a steer awaiting his slaughter in a restraint box. The steer becomes so distressed at being stabbed in the face with a metal file that he tries to escape by rearing up and attempting to climb out of the box."

The slaughter practices at the second abattoir were so appalling that Animals Australia doesn't believe the facility to be accredited. However, there are serious concerns that an animal slaughtered there through an outlawed Mark I' restraint box may be Australian, which would represent a severe breach of the new system.

"Other breaches documented at the abattoirs included keeping the animal in restraint for too long; interfering with the wounds after the throat cut; and hosing and washing animals while still conscious -- all causing additional stress and suffering.

"What is clear is that this new regulatory system cannot and will not provide protection for Australian cattle in Indonesia. Even if an initial audit shows facilities are capable of meeting basic welfare standards, this does not mean that they will be maintained on a nightly basis."

Animals Australia is calling for an urgent investigation and the suspension of the exporter's licence while this occurs.

"If the community is to have any faith in this new system and government statements that the days of self-regulation are over -- then we need to witness appropriate penalties including significant fines and the loss of export licences where breaches are proven.

"Overwhelmingly Australians want live export to end. Exporting animals to countries where there are no laws to protect them from cruelty can never be justified. The government hoped that this new system would quell public concerns. It has failed its first independent test."

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