Pregnant Aussie cows sent to slaughter in Indonesia

Monday February 14, 2010

The Greens have reacted strongly to recent evidence that pregnant cows are being shipped for slaughter - against live export regulations - to Indonesian ports.

“The industry cannot be trusted to follow the rules and these animals are suffering for it,” said Hon. Lynn MacLaren MLC today.

Independent monitors reported that up to 8% of cows on live export ships are pregnant in a recently released joint industry and government report on the live export trade to Indonesia.

Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) states that pregnant heifers should not be exported. The standards are administered by AQIS.

“These animals can go through so much pain and distress during transportation, and then they are subjected to cruel slaughtering methods. The impact on a pregnant animal is not worth thinking about. This demonstrates the depths to which the live export trade can sink,” Ms MacLaren said.

According to the report, cows are also placed in slaughter restraint boxes, which are illegal in Australia. The device intentionally trips the animal so that it falls on its side. Cows rise on average 3.5 times after having their throats cut and as many as 18 times.

“The regulations – which include pregnancy testing by an accredited person, are there for a very good reason, not just to be flouted by industry. If exporters can’t comply with legislation in Australia, can they realistically claim to improve animal welfare in other countries?

“Ending live exports would create employment with more abattoir and processing jobs here, we’d add to government coffers with extra tax revenue and most importantly, we’d stop sending Australian animals to a slow and painful death in other countries,” added Ms MacLaren.

For media enquiries, please contact Lynn MacLaren MLC on 0403 721 951.