IN THE NEWS: New footage of live export cattle slaughter 'harrowing to watch'

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IN THE NEWS: On DEC 12, 2013

NEW footage allegedly showing the torture of Australian cattle in Gaza will today be released by animal rights activists, who have lodged an extensive legal complaint with government claiming industry regulations are not preventing cattle being subjected to "sadistic treatment" overseas.

Animals Australia has issued a complaint to the Department of Agriculture, claiming it has proof Australian cattle were stabbed in the eyes, "knee-capped" with an assault rifle, strangled and brutally slaughtered during the religious Eid al Adha festival in the Gaza Strip in October.

"There are no words to adequately describe the carnage in these videos and the scale of abuse endured by Australian cattle," the group's campaign director, Lyn White, said. "It is shocking and completely harrowing to watch."

The footage has been provided to all MPs and senators, with a call to reignite the debate about the live export trade.

It is understood a number of government MPs have already replied to Animals Australia expressing concern about a string of recent media reports but expressing the Coalition's continued support for the trade.

The footage obtained by Animals Australia shows one bull with a distinctive Australian ear-tag suffering 102 cuts to his throat with a blunted knife in a makeshift slaughterhouse.

The animal, remained conscious throughout the killing.

Dozens of YouTube clips of cattle being slaughtered in Gaza were uploaded by civilians in October, triggering a report in the Israeli media on the abuse of cattle, including Australian, in Gaza.

After the report in the Israeli media surfaced, one exporter to the region, Livestock Shipping Services, released a statement declaring the company was "proactively reconfirming the integrity of its supply chains".

"LSS has made a self-report to the Department of Agriculture that there is potential for non-compliance with ESCAS if some of the activities reported online involve Australian cattle in Gaza," the statement, released last month, said.

Ms White said the industry was "making fools of politicians" and they had a moral imperative to act. Animals Australia has now lodged a legal complaint in relation to breaches of the supply chain protocols put in place to safeguard the welfare of animals after the livestock trade to Indonesia was suspended in 2011.

"The ineffectiveness of Australian regulations is obvious," Ms White said.

An Australian beef industry website last night reported the peak industry body, the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, received three videos of the mistreatment of cattle last month and forwarded the material to the department.

ALEC says it is concerned the animals could be Australian but the footage was not clear enough to confirm if they were.

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