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A recent investigation by Animals Australia witnessed Indonesian slaughterhouses savagely killing Australian cattle. Australians are demanding a ban on cattle exports to Indonesia after an investigation revealed brutal treatment that included animals being flogged and kicked while others were left bleeding to death in some cases.
Australia has shipped more than 6.5 million head of cattle to Indonesia for slaughter over the last 20 years.
Experts estimate 40% of beef eaten in Indonesia comes from Australian cattle.
The meat is cut and sold after slaughter to the native Indonesians who always buy their meat fresh since most have poor refrigertation or none at all. Australian cattle is one Indonesian’s primary food source and is important to them.
The call to ban came after an investigation by an Australian animal rights group which followed the cattle from the docks to 11 abattoirs in Indonesia.
Animals Australia filmed inside the 11 abattoirs, including at night, with the help of Indonesian workers at the slaughterhouses to catch on tape proof of the brutality.
A spokesperson from the animal rights group Glenys 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.”
“Our goal was to expose to the Australian community what’s happening to our livestock in Indonesia, and to stop our animals from being treated badly and to halt the trade to Indonesia.”
The footage, broadcasted on Australian television, also showed cattle being wiped and taking minutes to die after their necks were slashed according to the rights group.
That sparked angry calls to the Agriculture Department and tens of thousands of signatures on an online petition. Opposition parties, farmers, animal rights groups and outraged citizens have all demanded a ban on Indonesian cattle exports.
The Australian Veterinary Association joined for a suspension of trade to Indonesia until humane slaughter practices are established.
The videos of the abuse has been posted all over the internet and more specifically youtube. One video clip in particular shows how the cattle is raised at the top of line farms in Australia hoping they will receive the same treatment when they reach their final destination in Indonesia.
The video continues after to show how some cows are humanly killed by being “stunned” in the slaughterhouses. After that process they are sent to slaughter; but the majority of the cattle do that receive that treatment. Most are abused and tortured before death.
Iswantoro, Indonesia’s director of Animal Farming, told the BBC’s Indonesian service he would look into the claims caught on camera.
“If there is a video showing abattoirs that are not fulfilling our standards, it is our responsibility to look into it,” he said.
But he insisted that the country was committed to producing meat that was safe, secure, healthy and “halal.”
According to Muslim tradition, animals must be killed by having their throats cut instantly and all the blood must be allowed to drain out.
But that does not fit in with the allegations or what was recorded on camera.
In closing to one of the documented footage, the reporter said in a poignant voice, “It is sometimes said that in years to come we will look back in horror at the way we treated animals as we do now as the human slave trade.”