This is why we need CCTV footage

In May last year, an Animals Australia investigation went to air on Four Corners exposing the abuse of cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses. A huge public outcry followed and it brought about an abrupt (albeit short) termination of live cattle exports to Indonesia pending investigation.

Many of us who saw that footage probably thought something along the lines of “Thank God that didn’t happen to the steaks I buy”. Well, unfortunately, you can’t be absolutely sure of that.

(You can watch some of that footage here)

In late 2011, Animals Australia circulated footage of abattoir workers in Gippsland, Victoria, inflicting gross acts of cruelty to pigs during their slaughter. The footage was so damning that the abattoir was shut down. Fast-forward four months and another animal rights group, Animal Liberation, has captured workers in a NSW slaughterhouse beating fully conscious pigs to death, skinning sheep alive and enacting other horrifying acts of cruelty on goats and cattle.

The covert footage taken in both cases has finally brought to light an issue that is rumoured to be widespread throughout the meat processing industry.

Comments from the NSW Food Authority stating that these are ‘rogue operators’ is not suitable justification for resisting calls to install 24-hour CCTV in all Australian abattoirs. Better than catching the people who inflict this treatment upon animals, let’s use CCTV to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

After similar footage was aired in the United Kingdom in 2010 there was an enormous outcry across the country. They, too, were horrified that the animals being slaughtered for their consumption were enduring such extreme cruelty and they petitioned their supermarkets. As a result, many of the largest supermarkets in the UK stopped buying meat from processors that didn’t use CCTV and allow it to be monitored by independent animal welfare groups.

It just makes sense to monitor the actions of workers in slaughterhouses here in Australia. No one loses – except abattoir workers who either derive enjoyment from causing harm to animals or believe it is a more efficient way to get through their days’ work.


“I’m ready to take action”, you say? Well, that’s fantastic. We need you. Here’s what you can do:

Download this petition and ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign it. Then send it to the Animal Liberation office at Suite 506, 89 York Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 so they can use it to lobby the NSW Legislative Assembly.

Join Animal Liberation this Thursday night (16 February 2012) and Saturday morning (18 February 2012) in Sydney as they collect signatures from members of the public.

When: Thursday, 5pm-7pm
Where: Outside Broadway Shopping Centre, Bay Street entrance.

When: Saturday, 10am-12pm
Where: Pitt Street Mall, Market Street end near Food Court entrance.

Send a letter to the big supermarkets demanding CCTV in Australia abattoirs. So far, they’re resisting the calls but, the more public pressure they face, the more likely they are to prioritise it. You can find examples of letters and the details of who to send them to on Facebook.

Join CCTV for All Abattoirs in Australia on Facebookto keep abreast of what’s happening and continue to find ways to bring about this much-needed change.

Consider either reducing the amount of meat you eat or converting to a meat-free diet.

Donate to Animal Liberation to help them keep fighting. They are a non-Government funded organisation that relies wholly on the support of the public.

There is power in numbers. Change happened in the UK and it can happen here, but we need voices, signatures and access to your networks to spread the word.

All animals deserve a life free from abuse. Whether a beloved family pet, or a nameless farm animal — all cherish joy, and fear violence. Please join the fight and be part of the solution.