Target: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Goal: Ban abusive practices in Indonesian slaughterhouses.
This week a video aired on Australian television that showed disturbing instances of cattle abuse at an Indonesian slaughterhouse. Australia already suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia for a month in 2011 following a video that aired showing cattle in a slaughterhouse being whipped and beaten. Indonesian government must ban this horrific abuse.
The latest video, a joint effort by the RSPCA and Animals Australia, shows a distressed cow having its throat slit without first being stunned. The cow continues to moan minutes after, as workers cut out pieces of its throat. Australian government now requires exporters of Australian cattle to ensure animal welfare standards are met, with punishments for those who ship cattle to places where abuse is knowingly occurring. Australian government may be able to improve conditions for its own cattle, but it is difficult to control the plight of cattle slaughtered overseas. Moreover, there is no protection for non-Australian cattle.
Much of the abuse stems from the use of Australian-supplied restraint boxes, which results in a slow, torturous death. Australian firms Meat & Livestock Australia and LiveCorp, along with support from the federal government, have been supplying these boxes to Indonesia for ten years, as workers were having trouble restraining the Australian cattle, which are larger than those native to Indonesia. The methods used to slaughter livestock would be illegal in Australia and violate international animal health guidelines.
While Australian cattle may now have some protection against slaughterhouse cruelty in Indonesia, abuse will continue to occur if Indonesian government does not enact regulations to stop it. Urge Indonesia to adopt higher standards for the treatment of livestock destined for slaughter.