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gobbledonk

Australians appalled by Indonesian slaughterhouse footage

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http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/9545951/ludwig-orders-inquiry-into-indon-cattle/

 

The footage was a lot more confronting than the still images - you could see and hear the animals suffering. The thing that stood out, for me, was that many of these abattoirs are run in the time-honoured half-arsed fashion used throughout the developing world - employ one guy who knows what he is doing and then get the rest from the village layabout contingent. Cheap labour, no equipment beyond some ropes and knives - might work with chickens and goats, but not with animals like this. These guys appeared to be in way over their heads - throw in the usual disregard for animals and its a recipe for cruelty.

 

Yes, we are hypocrites - many of the same people who are lighting up talkback radio switchboards will be gobbling a quarter-pounder tonight.

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pretty ordinary.... plus live exporting costs Aussies thousands of jobs in abattoirs, boning rooms, etc. We should insist on selling the finished product (and making more money off it) instead of simply exporting so much primary product.

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The Indonesians were able to dictate terms to an industry being swamped by the drought and a massive threat from Brazil. I think a lot of the contracts were drawn up before they started large-scale Halal butchery in Oz.

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Australia stops some cattle exports to Indonesia

Associated Press | Tue, 05/31/2011 9:31 AM A | A | A | The Australian government suspended live cattle exports Tuesday to 11 Indonesian abattoirs featured in a television program showing suffering steers being whipped and taking minutes to bleed to death after their throats were cut.

 

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said the suspension would be in force while an investigator reviewed the 330 million Australian dollar ($350 million) per year live cattle trade with Indonesia. He warned that more slaughterhouses could be added to the banned list.

 

"I will appoint an independent reviewer to investigate the complete supply chain for live exports up to and including the point of slaughter," Ludwig said in a statement.

 

Indonesia officials could not immediately be reached for response.

 

While Australian abattoirs render cattle unconscious with stun guns before killing them, most in Indonesia follow the Islamic method of cutting the throats of conscious animals.

 

The 11 abattoirs in Jakarta, Bogor, Bandar Lampung and Medan were elected at random in March and video recorded by Lyn White, a former police officer and campaign director of the animal welfare group Animals Australia.

 

"We just stopped on the side of the road and asked people where their local abattoir was - it's as simple as that," White told The Associated Press.

 

She did not expect the government investigation would find conditions any more humane at the vast majority of other Indonesians abattoirs.

 

"There's about 770 (abattoirs) in Indonesia and only five stun, so only five would have remotely acceptable standards," White said.

 

Animal Australia and the Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, better known as the RSPCA, want the live cattle trade banned on cruelty grounds. Both cooperated with Australian Broadcasting Corp. to produce the gruesome television program screened nationally on Monday night.

 

RSPCA chif scientist Bidda Jones, who analyzed the video slaughter of 50 cattle, said the slaughter men used on average 11 cuts to the throat to kill each animal, and as many as 33. The Australian standard was death within 30 seconds.

 

"They basically hack the heads off with blunt knifes, causing a lot of distress and pain," Jones said.

 

Ludwig described the images as "shocking in the extreme." Charles Armstrong, president of the New South Wales state Farmers Association which represents many Australian cattle ranchers, labeled the Indonesian practices as "horrific cruelty."

 

Some key Greens party and independent lawmakers, whose support is crucial to the Labor Party government, as well some government lawmakers are calling for the trade with Indonesia to be suspended or terminated.

 

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told government colleagues at a meeting Tuesday that the trade suspensions with individual abattoirs would not harm Australia's "strong and robust relationship" with Indonesia.

 

Two government lawmakers, Janelle Saffin and Kelvin Thomson, proposed banning all live exports to Indonesia until abattoir standards were improved. Their proposal will be discussed by government colleagues at their next party meting on June 14.

 

"There was a very strong view among caucus members ... that action had to occur," a spokesman for the meeting told reporters on the usual condition of anonymity.

 

The video showed abattoir workers break a bull's tail and repeatedly gouge its eyes and nostrils in failed attempts to get the animal to regain its feet, despite a broken leg.

 

At an abattoir in Medan in North Sumatra, cattle are seen tied and trembling as they watch other cattle slaughtered and skinned in front of them.

 

Before the government suspensions, Australian industry body LiveCorp had responded to the footage by suspending trade with three of the abattoirs featured and had sent trainers to a fourth.

 

"While we face many challenges in improving animal welfare in a developing country, we've made major progress during the past decade," LiveCorp chief executive Cameron Hall said.

 

 

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Australia’s ban on cattle exports to RI ‘political’

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 05/31/2011 4:48 PM A | A | A | The House of Representatives says Australia’s move to suspend exports of live cattle to Indonesia is political.

 

“This is Australia’s political horse-trading, which aims to prevent Indonesia from providing its own cows,†House agriculture commission deputy chair Herman Khaeron said Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

 

He said Australia was only toying with Indonesia by suspending exports to 11 Indonesian slaughterhouses.

 

“Australia is happy to see [indonesia] depending on it to export frozen meat because Indonesia is a huge and potential market,†he said.

 

His data shows that last year Indonesia imported 120,000 tons of frozen meat and 600,000 live cows, mostly from Australia.

 

Indonesia is now working to provide its own live cattle by reducing imports of frozen meat to 50,000 tons and increasing the number of female cows, Herman said.

 

Australia suspended its exports of live cattle after 11 Indonesian slaughterhouses were featured on a television program that showed steers being whipped and bleeding to death after their throats were cut.

 

Herman dismissed the notion that animal cruelty had occurred at the slaughterhouses.

 

“[Australia] said [the slaughterhouses’ ways] were inhumane, but that’s the way to kill [an animal]. What other ways are there?†he said.

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The Animal Rights folk still arent happy - the woman who took the original footage (imagine having her job ..) was interviewed on several stations and she wants to see our government get a lot tougher with the industry here in Oz. I can see her point - if she hadnt taken that footage, it would be business as usual.

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if she hadnt taken that footage, it would be business as usual.

 

true, although when I was in the aussie meat export industry (close to 10 years ago now), the industry itself was concerned about live exports. Cruelty was a concern, but to be honest the major concern was jobs. At one point, and i doubt it's changed, every export abattoir (excluding pig ab's) in WA and NT was only supplying live animals for export.

 

Reason being the halal customers didn't trust us to do it as good as them (halal killings) as well as the freshness.

A lot of boning rooms were shut down, and the justification was that if we didn't supply them, the Brazilians would. I'm guessing the kiwis had/have the same dilemma.

 

Exports were booming at the time and the meat industry was divided into people like the company I worked for who believed we should continue supplying meat, not live animals, and others who were scared they would lose business and started live exports. RSPCA and the like weren't happy even then, as they could see the animals' conditions on the ships were bad enough, let alone the slaughterhouses they were heading to.

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Guest lazyphil

i'm certain footage of any slaughterhouse anywhere in the world would put anyone with an ounce of compassion of meat!!

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