UPDATE: August 8, 2011 – Today is a big day for animal lovers in cities all across Australia. Rallies are being held to put an end to the tortuous practice of shipping living animals to other countries for slaughter. Investigations in Indonesia uncovered animal cruelty to a degree that the images are too horrific to share (see CNN’s written article below).
Please check out Global Animal’s Facebook page for information posted by fellow reader Mel Lademann, who has a Ban Live Export profile image (http://www.facebook.com/GlobalAnimal/posts/114773598621553). And please consider getting involved.
This is a time when change is possible. Evidence is everywhere (just ask the whales in the Antarctic). Let the protection of cows and calves be part of that progress! – Global Animal
(FARM ANIMAL WELFARE) AUSTRALIA — A recent investigation by Animals Australia witnessed Indonesian slaughter houses savagely killing Australian cattle. As a result, Australians are calling for a ban on cattle exports to Indonesia. Per Global Animal’s policy to avoid ‘mugging’ readers with images of horrific abuse, the photo of the tortured cow included in this article has been omitted. — Global Animal
CNN, Hannah Belcher
Australians are demanding a ban on cattle exports to Indonesia after an investigation revealed brutal treatment that included animals getting flogged, kicked and bleeding to death in some cases.
The call comes after an investigation by an Australian animal rights group, which followed the cattle from the docks to 11 abattoirs in Indonesia.
Animals Australia conducted the probe after a livestock industry report revealed mistreatment, according to Glenys Oogjes of the animal rights group.
It openly filmed inside 11 abattoirs, including at night, with the help of Indonesian workers at the slaughterhouses, Oogjes said.
“Our primary goal was to have a look and see what we were reading in industry reports and to find out if it was as bad as it sounded,” she said. “Our goal was to expose to the Australian community what’s happening to our live stock in Indonesia, and to stop our animals from being treated badly and to halt the trade to Indonesia.”
“It was really unfortunate if it really happened,” said Djajadi, director of the Veterinary Health Department of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, adding, “Australian cattle is different from Indonesian cattle. They’re big and wild.”
But, he said, “We already have plans to put the slaughter houses in order, to ensure the animals’ welfare, by giving restraining boxes for slaughtering, stun guns for slaughtering houses, training and education for the workers.”
The footage, broadcast on Australian television, showed cattle being flogged and taking minutes to die after their necks were slashed, according to the rights group.
In addition to the mistreatment, the cattle are not treated in accordance with the Muslim practice of halal, Oogjes said.
“Animals are supposed to be treated well and should be facing Mecca when they are slaughtered. Our investigation discovered that neither of these things were happening,” Oogjes said.
She said the rights group “filmed animals being slaughtered and cut up in front of other animals — that’s certainly not halal.”
The footage sparked angry calls to the agriculture department and tens of thousands of signatures in an online petition. Opposition parties, farmers, animals rights groups and outraged citizens have demanded a ban on Indonesian cattle exports, Oogjes said.
On Wednesday, the Australian veterinary association joined calls for a suspension of trade to Indonesia until humane slaughter practices are established.
Australia’s agriculture minister has appointed someone to look into the situation, Oogjes said.
“He has said this week the cattle won’t be sent to the 11 abattoirs investigated by Animals Australia,” Oogjes said. “But it’s ridiculous. There are thousands of abattoirs in Indonesia and we don’t have any control over where our animals go in Indonesia.”
Animal rights groups called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to urgently halt cattle exports to Indonesia.
“While the government could deny knowledge of what’s going on in Indonesia this time around — if we have to go back and document further evidence — the public will not be so forgiving,” Oogjes said in a statement.