Australian cattle 'sledgehammered' in Vietnam abattoirs

2016-06-17 06:07


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Sydney - Vietnamese abattoir workers have been filmed using sledgehammers to bludgeon Australian cattle, activists say, prompting some exporters to stop supplying livestock to selected slaughterhouses in the southeast Asian nation.

Undercover investigators working for Animals Australia filmed footage last month of one worker clubbing a cow over the head five times with a sledgehammer before it fell to the ground beside the bodies of two other cows.

The man then hit it another four times before it finally died.

The activist group said it visited 13 slaughterhouses in North and Central Vietnam, home to a multi-million dollar industry and one of Australia's biggest live cattle export markets, in what it said was "their most dangerous operation ever.

"Only two met Australian requirements for approved abattoirs," campaign director Lyn White told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which aired the footage on national television on Thursday.

"I thought I'd seen it all...and I haven't," she said.

Animals Australia said ear tags were removed from cattle so they could not be linked back to exporters and that the killings took place in "filthy, unhygienic conditions".

It is the second time the group has exposed alleged abuses in Vietnamese abattoirs, claiming thousands of Australian cattle have been slaughtered in facilities not approved by Canberra, as required by export controls.

White said Animal Australia chose not to publicly release video it shot last year, but instead supplied it to the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC).

She claims the industry body promised a response within six weeks, but nothing happened which was why she went public.

ALEC chairperson Simon Crean said the procedures that were filmed were "inexcusable.

"No animal should have to go through the fear or the pain," said Crean.

"We've determined that... we should stop the supply of animals to all of the facilities that are under investigation."

Australia's live cattle export trade has been under the spotlight before, notably in 2013 when shipments to Egypt were suspended for months after abattoir footage showed "horrific" mistreatment of cows.

Trade to Indonesia was also temporary halted in 2011 on cruelty concerns.

Read more on:    australia  |  vietnam  |  animal cruelty  |  animals

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