Can you do better than a live export auditor?

A live export auditor inspects an abattoir; misses egregious cruelty; fixes gate.

LAST UPDATED: 24 July 2020

'Appalling' and 'sadistic' are two words that the live export industry and government have used to describe investigation footage of the slaughter of Australian cattle at an Israeli abattoir. Yet a recent industry-paid audit of the same facility found only one breach: a rusty gate.

To send animals to new live export markets, exporters must hire an auditor to give the tick of approval. But how 'independent' and thorough are these inspections when the auditors are chosen and paid for by the exporter?

Israel's largest abattoir, Bakar Tnuva was approved for export under the Australian government's Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) after oil was applied to a rusty gate in July 2012. Yet two months later, an undercover investigator documented the treatment of Australian cattle at the same facility. The two accounts of this abattoir could not be more different:

Auditor's account:


Undercover investigator's account:

The footage documented by the investigator revealed serious routine breaches of Australian live export regulations, including:

  • Use of a full inversion restraint box, which tips cattle upside down for Kosher slaughter.
  • Cattle being hoisted to the ceiling within 30 seconds of the throat cut and without confirmation of loss of consciousness.
  • Routine failure to check animals are dead before further processing.
  • Routine and deliberate use of electric prodders on animals who could no longer stand; who had nowhere to go; or who were already moving in the desired direction.
  • Routine and deliberate use of electric prodders on sensitive areas including the eyes, face, genitalia and anus of cattle.

For decades, live exporters have knowingly sent animals to export markets where they will be brutally slaughtered, with no laws to protect them. Time and again, these exporters have proven they cannot be trusted to be honest with the Australian public. Yet the government's ESCAS system places responsibility for auditing and reporting breaches in the the hands of auditors chosen and paid for by these same exporters.

Once again it has been left to animal advocates to document and expose extreme cruelty that had been overlooked by the live export industry and Australian government.

Since this investigation was aired on Israeli TV and on ABC's 7.30, outraged Australians and Israelis have been making their voices heard, calling for an end to live exports. Add your voice to this call for change. Tell your MP you will not vote for a party that supports live exports.

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