Cattle cruelty footage deserves scepticism

02 Mar, 2012 06:22 AM

HERE we go again. Inflated claims of animals being brutalized are used to frame the Australian cattle industry and live exporters and northern producers in particular.

The team that accused Australian cattle producers and Indonesian people in general of brutality over the mistreatment of a small number of Australian cattle more than a year ago is back with more sensational footage.

This time the racist attack on Indonesian people – the claimed brutality in their slaughter of a majority of Australian-sourced cattle - has not been repeated. This time it is the Australian Government, and what Animals Australia proclaims as the innate cruelty of the Australian live export industry that is in their sights.

What a shameful exaggeration – bullying the government and blackening the reputation of an entire industry once more - because of the actions of less than half a dozen people, one or two of whom were cruel and others ignorant or incompetent.

This time, Animals Australia and the ABC have produced and broadcast disturbing footage from a hidden camera carried into two Indonesian abattoirs, only one of which is identified as being linked to an Australian supply chain. Their spokesperson, Lyn White, uses the resulting footage to demand an end to live exports, directing her attack at the Australian government and the industry still reeling from her earlier assault.

No one in this country or in Indonesia can stop an individual perpetrating a cruel act if that is what they are determined to do. The stubbornly long list of cases of cruelty to pet animals, or other examples from within Australia are testament to that fact.

But this latest case has been singled out by Australia’s national broadcaster. Why? Because of the implicit smear it casts at Australian cattle producers and the accompanying campaign to halt live cattle exports from this country.

Let’s analyse the latest footage. Since Four Corners broadcast its Walkley Award-winning attack on the industry last year, our Government has driven a campaign to remove and upgrade or replace the controversial mark-one killing boxes in Indonesian abattoirs that process Australian cattle.

In this latest footage, the unidentified local agent of Animals Australia films a mark-one box, still in use, but in an abattoir that is not licensed to process Australian cattle.

Incompetent stock handling and the apparent fear of poorly-trained workers as they struggle with a complex process are obvious in that part of the video, but no intentional or systemic mistreatment of Australian cattle is present. Ms White asserts that the animal involved is of Australian origin, but the ABC does not endorse her claim.

In the example where an accredited facility and an Australian steer are shown, one cruel and incompetent individual pokes the animal in the face with a knife-sharpening steel until the beast becomes enraged and tries to escape. The same worker is the one who operates the tilt mechanism on the box without the necessary head restraint. He is the one who interferes with its wound.

Apart from this one individual and his cruelty, another is shown pouring water on a steer as it lies in the restraint.

In reporting on the footage, RSPCA scientist, Bidda Jones, says she has identified 46 practices that would be in breach of Australian requirements if they involved Australian cattle in an accredited supply chain.

Although the footage shows animals killed without stunning, this is not a process outlawed by Australia or the international standards of the OIE.

The practices demonstrated in this video are in no way typical of the much higher standards that apply to Australian cattle under the supply chain arrangements specified by the Australian government. Since the events of June, 2011, the majority of facilities processing our export cattle have switched to mandatory stunning.

Once again the ABC and Animals Australia have shown themselves to be less than impartial when dealing with the realities of our export cattle industries.

The Federal Government has launched an investigation into this latest film and the incidents it portrays. Until its findings are known, the Australian public would be wise to keep an open mind on sensational and destructive claims such as this.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


2/03/2012 7:33:33 AM

This article will have the animal nutters pounding their keyboards white with rage and frothing at the mouth.Throw a tanty, flip their wig, going ballistic, blow a valve .
Stop cruel farmers/greedy ruthless exporters.
2/03/2012 7:57:10 AM

here we go. The -footage isnt real crap is rolling out again. Cant you cruel lot think of anything else to say? How about-'we care so much we will stop sending animals to these hell holes'. The farmed animal industry makes me sick.
Ian Mott
2/03/2012 8:19:02 AM

And that one cruel worker would be more than a weeks pay in front after just a single $10 bribe. No footage that Animals Australia might supply can be taken seriously.
2/03/2012 9:26:25 AM

Well done Cameron for putting some balance to the media export fiasco and standing up for producers. These activists and their brainwashed followers are so trigger happy that the very mention of welfare gives them reason raise arms and start firing away at all in sundry. This rapid fire response will be their undoing, as the public slowly awaken to what it is. Noise, with no rhyme reason or logic, just an underlying desire to end the farming,a nd slaughter of livestock full stop. Banning of exports is simply a means to an end, with media manipulation of the public, a tool for reaching that goal.
Moral majority
2/03/2012 9:50:03 AM

I don't know what farmer in Australia thinks that attempting to sever a steers leg whilst it is still conscious, after stabbing it in the eyes and head with a metal rod is acceptable. Clearly you do, but I think that actually means in this country, you should be in some type of institution - either a mental hopsital or in prison. In reality you're probably working for the MLA, as a highly qualified sociopath. If you really think this is an overreaction, there is something wrong with YOU.
Ian Mott
2/03/2012 10:39:39 AM

It now appears that the "cruel worker" is the same guy that appeared in last year's footage. And there are also reports that one of the clearly visible ear tags has been traced back to an animal exported in 2010. So I am duty bound to correct my above assertion about a $10 bribe for this latest bit of vegan snuff video. The reality is that this footage has been recycled from last year and the bribe for that set-up was only $5.50. The producer of ABC Lateline should be sacked for gross negligence and a serious breach of discipline.
Farmer Greg
2/03/2012 10:40:07 AM

@Stop cruel farmers/greedy ruthless exporters. Your screen name says it all... you have no idea how the industry works. It is not the farmer and it is not the exporter but a third party abbatoir in a foreign country with poorly paid under trained workers who perpetuate these problems. We see 1 or 2 examples of bad ethics and that means that all 500,000 or so cattle exported to Indonesia each year suffer the same fate. I don't think so. Also don't forget that Brahman cattle are known throughout the industry for being notouriously hard to handle breed. Then again you wouldn't know would you.
Orlando Browning
2/03/2012 10:58:01 AM

What an inane article. Obviously, the Live Export Industry, and all those with vested interests in this corrupt industry are feeling threatened. Perhaps, they are also feeling guilty, about the horrific mistreatment of their animals. The Australian public know the truth about the inherent animal mistreatment of Live Exports. This cruel industry will be banned, the writing is already on the wall.
2/03/2012 11:03:53 AM

Haha I love reading articles from The Land. You really know how to satisfy your target audience! Keeping writing this tripe. Us 'city-folk' love reading it too!
Walcha Bill
2/03/2012 11:41:33 AM

This article clearly shows the supporters of Live Exports are SCARED!!! your day is done boys. The Live Export industry has had too may chances. I am a farmer, so are all my mates. We would never send our cattle away as Live Exports. We can inspect our local slaughter houses, it's our responsibility.
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