Videotaped Eid al Adha slaughter cruelty in Gaza shocks Australia

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:


GAZA, CANBERRA––Amateur videos posted to social media by
witnesses to Eid al Adha slaughters in Gaza on October 15, 2013 appear
to have provided some of the most damning evidence yet of the failure of
the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System to protect Australian
livestock from abuse after arrival in foreign nations.
Collected by Animals Australia from social media, the Gaza
videos show tethered cattle being chased off a truck to fall heavily
upside down in the street, cattle being stabbed in the eyes, a bull
being “knee-capped” with an assault rifle, and being killed so
ineptly that one bull with a distinctive Australian ear-tag reportedly
suffered 102 separate cuts to his throat before bleeding to death,
remaining conscious all the while.

The videos show at least 50 different men abusing 22 cattle, at
more than half a dozen locations, in several instances before large
Animals Australia said the cattle in the videos were identified
as Australian through their ear tags, “which are of a type, size and
shape that is unique to Australian exporters to Israel, as well as
through the presence of National Livestock Identification Scheme tags.
A number of ear tags directly correlated with ear tags of Australian
cattle arriving in Israel in June 2013 aboard the livestock vessel Bader
3, which is operated by the Australian exporter Livestock Shipping
Services,” Animals Australia elaborated.
The Australian government introduced the Exporter Supply Chain
Assurance System in 2012, after many previous Animals Australia
undercover video exposés of abusive handling and crude killing of
livestock shipped to slaughter in the Middle East and southern Asia.
The Gaza incidents together constituted the 24th reported systemic
failure of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System in 20 months, and
the third in two months, following reports of violations in Jordan and
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council acknowledged
receiving copies of three of the videos long before Animals Australia in
early December 2013 distributed them to Australian media and
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council “took the decision
that we would report the most serious incident involving a man shooting
at the legs of a bull, which was first published on YouTube on October
22, 2013,” the council said in a prepared statement.
The Australian cattle reached Gaza after being unloaded in
Israel. Livestock Shipping Services, the largest Australian cattle
exporter to Israel, self-reported potential violations of the Exporter
Supply Chain Assurance System in November 2013, but hedged that, “Many
of the identifiable features in online photos and footage are not
exclusive to Australian cattle.”
Fumed Western Australia Pastoralists and Graziers Association
president Rob Gillam, “It always seems to come from Animals
Australia, and we don’t seem to hear them having much of a problem
with how animals in the rest of the world are treated. They always seem
to be able to come up with some dreadful footage and I’m not so sure
that a lot of this stuff is not set up.”
That Gaza, Indonesia, Egypt, and the many other places where
Animals Australia has documented abuses of livestock are “in the rest
of the world” appeared to have eluded Gillam. Neither did he explain
how Animals Australia might have “set up” videos posted by dozens of
different people using many different social media, in a place not
easily accessed by outsiders.
Animals Australia sent the videos to media and legislators after
an Australian Department of Agriculture investigation dragged on without
consequence for more than a month.
“I’m calling upon the department to seriously consider very
quickly issuing ‘just cause’ notices to any company it is
investigating as a result of these allegations,” said Labor Party
agriculture spokesperson Joel Fitzgibbon. “The ‘just cause’
notice will put the onus on the company to show cause why their license
should not be suspended until the investigation is complete,”
Fitzgibbon explained. “My concern is that there is no indication that
the investigation will be complete by the end of this year and indeed
it’s likely to be well into the new year before the department comes
to any conclusions.”
Said Green Party member of parliament Adam Bandt, “I think
anyone who watches this footage would understand that now is the time to
end the live export trade.”
“Gaza is just the latest in a long line of revelations which
show clearly that Australia’s so-called supply chain assurance is
failing,” said independent member of parliament Andrew Wilkie. “If
the government doesn’t have the backbone to stop the trade
altogether,” Wilkie added, “then it should at least commit to ban
or refuse permits to all companies that have demonstrated a continuing
disregard for animal welfare.”
“Any politician or industry supporter who has propagated the
industry’s line that we can improve animal welfare by being in the
market should be locked in a room and forced to watch an hour of footage
from Gaza,” said Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White.
At least 125 Palestinian residents of Gaza were reportedly
themselves injured during the Eid al Adha slaughters. Gaza has five
official slaughterhouses, Palestinian media said, but rather than wait
for hours to have trained butchers kill their cattle, many Gazans did
it themselves.

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