Australia halts cattle sales to 11 Indonesian abattoirs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2011:
CANBERRA–Australian agriculture minister
Joe Ludwig on June 1, 2011 suspended live cattle
exports from Australia to 11 Indonesian
slaughterhouses, and warned that exports to more
slaughterhouses may be suspended as an
investigation proceeds. “I will appoint an
independent reviewer to investigate the complete
supply chain for live exports up to and including
the point of slaughter,” Ludwig told media.
Ludwig acted within hours after the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation program Four
Corners aired undercover video collected by
Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White, a
former police officer, during investigations at
the 11 randomly selected halal slaughterhouses in
Jakarta, Bogor, Bandar Lampung, and Medan in
March 2011.

Animals Australia and the Royal SPCA of
Australia oppose all live exports of livestock.
This is partly because most Australian livestock
exports go to halal slaughterhouses, which
mostly do not pre-stun animals before killing
them, in the belief–disputed among Islamic
scholars–that pre-stunning is not allowed by the
rules of halal. “There are about 770
slaughterhouses in Indonesia and only five
pre-stun, so only five would have remotely
acceptable standards,” White told The Guardian,
of London. But even setting aside the
pre-stunning issue, clear violations of halal
requirements were evident in White’s videography.
Halal slaughter done according to the Q’ran is
supposed to be done with a single cut, using an
extremely sharp blade. Killing animals within
sight of others is strictly haram–forbidden–as
is harming animals in any way before slaughter.
“RSPCA chief scientist Bidda Jones, who
analysed the video slaughter of 50 cattle, said
the slaughtermen used on average 11 cuts to the
throat to kill each animal, and as many as 33,”
said The Guardian. The video showed frequent
violent abuse of animals in preparation for
slaughter. “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,” added The Guardian.
About 100 Indonesian slaughterhouses have
killed about 6.5 million Australian cattle during
the past 20 years. Indonesia in 2010 spent more
than $400 million to buy about 60% of Australian
cattle production. Stung by past Animals
Australia exposés, the Australian livestock
export industry and Australian government have
spent about $4 million over the past 10 years to
improve procedures in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

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