New live export investigation airs on Lateline

The live export industry is again scrambling as new covert investigation footage from Indonesia supplied by Animals Australia is released and broadcast on national television.

PUBLISHED ON: 28 February 2012

Click here to watch the story online.

Last year, Animalís Australia exposed the horrific cruelty inflicted on Australian cattle in Indonesia causing a tidal wave of outrage and distress throughout the Australian community. Faced with a public demanding that live export be banned, the Gillard government suspended the trade the Indonesia and there was a collective sigh of relief in the Australian community.

The decision to reopen the trade to Indonesia in July 2011, was greeted with anger and disbelief. The Gillard government responded by promising Australians that a new regulatory system would protect animals from cruelty despite the flaws in this new system being obvious.

Despite government assurances that never again would the live trade Ďself regulateí it has been Animals Australia that has again provided evidence that horrendous cruelty to cattle continues in Indonesia. What our Indonesian based investigator documented at three abattoirs in Jakarta in late January has again shocked Australians.

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One of the abattoirs responsible for a shocking act of cruelty, where a steer had his face stabbed at repeatedly with a metal file, is even believed to be accredited under the governmentís new Export Supply Chain Assurance System — a system promised to deliver better Ďanimal welfare outcomesí. So distressed was the steer that he tried to escape from the restraint box and his torturer by rearing up and attempting to climb out of the box.

The distressed behaviour of a steer at the other Jakarta slaughterhouse where outlawed Mark I restraint boxes are still being used, has led to grave concerns that this rundown abattoir may still be receiving Australian cattle. Dozens of these dreadful Australian designed devices remain in use in Indonesian abattoirs despite them being condemned by slaughter experts around the world.

Every slaughter documented by our investigator in Indonesia breached basic animal welfare standards. Tragically workers werenít even checking that animals were dead before they started cutting them up. The fact that the Australian government continues to allow exported animals to have their throats cut whilst fully conscious ensures that suffering will continue even if the new system is fully complied with.

Seemingly, the new system has already failed, and tragically, animals have again suffered the consequences.

Animals Australia has lodged a formal complaint with the Australian government requesting a full and urgent investigation into alleged breaches of the new system, but what is clear is that this new regulatory system cannot and will not provide protection for Australian cattle in Indonesia on a nightly basis. The true test is how workers behave when they donít believe they are being watched Ė sadly, we already have evidence that cattle will be cruelly treated.

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.

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