UPDATE: Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig tells Caucus he’s suspending live exports to the 11 abattoirs investigated by 4Corners report in Indonesia.
The sound the cattle make when they’re taken to slaughter is what sticks with you.
They take minutes to die. Still conscious. International regulations say they should be dead in 30 seconds.
This is what happens with live trade cattle, sent to their deaths in Indonesia. It’s not pretty.
Let me clear one thing up, to begin with. I was raised on a cattle station in western Queensland. We had thousands of beasts raised for the sole destination of your dinner plate. We killed our own, too. Once a month with a single shot to the head, so we could eat meat. They died quickly.
This was my reality and I scoffed when Mia asked me to watch 4 Corners last night. But I take my words back. All of them.
Award-winning Australian journalist Sarah Ferguson (she also did the acclaimed Matthew Johns story a few years ago, revealing the seediest side of the NRL) took viewers behind the scenes at halal abattoirs in Indonesia which take Australian cattle, many from the Northern Territory and some of this country’s biggest cattle stations.
It is likened to the ‘slave trade’ of the 21 Century.
After the shocking footage aired last night – and it was indeed one of the most harrowing things I have ever seen – social media exploded with outrage and people sought to do something – anything – to make their voices heard and stop this barbaric practice. (You can see the full 4 Corners episode here.)
The Australian Government has taken notice. This, according to the ABC Online:
“The Federal Government is considering banning live animal exports to some countries after ABC TV broadcast disturbing footage of Australian cattle being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs.
Last night’s Four Corners program featured footage of Australian cattle being beaten, whipped and kicked prior to slaughter in Indonesia.”
An immediate moratorium has been introduced. This means a temporary ban has been placed on all live exports to Indonesia.
Let’s be perfectly clear and reiterate that the concern is not for how cattle are treated by Australian farmers or station managers. By all accounts, and as one said on the program last night, they like their animals. A lot.
But to make money, the cattle have to be sold. And Indonesia is a big market.