Australia Halts Most Live Cattle Shipments to Indonesia

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 11:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Australia has expanded a ban on cattle shipments to Indonesia, after a television expose showed images of Indonesian slaughterhouse practices that shocked Australian viewers.

The move, announced late Tuesday, extends a temporary ban on that cattle trade from 11 Indonesian abattoirs to all 770 slaughterhouses in the country. The ban is expected to last up to six months while Australian authorities seek assurances that meat processors are using humane practices in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

The television report aired last week showed steers being whipped, beaten and gouged and taking minutes to die after repeated cuts to the throat.

Critics of those practices are demanding changes in Indonesian slaughter methods so that cattle are shocked senseless with stun guns before the animals are killed. Australia's shipments of live cattle to Indonesia are worth more than $320 million a year.

There was no immediate response from Jakarta to the ban.

Last week, Indonesian officials said that local slaughter methods are based on Islamic teachings.