Horror animal cruelty video sparks new call for export ban

Disturbing images of animal cruelty, reportedly involving Australian cattle, have emerged from Egypt.
Disturbing images of animal cruelty, reportedly involving Australian cattle, have emerged from Egypt.

MORE horrific footage, allegedly of Australian cattle being slaughtered in Egypt, was shown in Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.

The footage was aired by Animals Australia's Lyn White and independent Andrew Wilkie, both of whom again called for a ban on the live export trade.

It shows cattle, likely exported live from Australia, having their throats and tendons slashed, in contravention of Australia's Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System.

Ms White said the horrendous footage should finally spark action by federal parliamentarians to stop the live export trade.

The footage comes a week after similar footage emerged from Egypt, filmed by an Egyptian veterinarian inside an abattoir approved under the ESCAS.

Before the previous images aired, the industry and Commonwealth immediately suspended live exports to Egypt, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Ms White said the latest footage, filmed by a different Egyptian veterinarian at a second abattoir, was referred to the Department of Agriculture within 48 hours of AA receiving it.

The department confirmed it received the footage on Wednesday, and was assessing it as part of the original investigation into the footage aired a week ago.

A spokesman for the department said the government was working with Egypt to conduct the joint investigation, which would be "prompt, thorough and no shortcuts will be taken".

Ms White said the video showed the current controls were not working to ensure the welfare of Australian-bred animals in overseas markets.

However, she said she did not know when the footage was taken, indicating it may have been filmed as early at 2010, before the new export assurance system was put in place.

She said it was up to the Federal Government to determine the age and location of the footage, not Animals Australia.

Ms White was supported by Mr Wilkie, who said he planned to introduce his third bill attempting to outlaw the live export trade.

However, Mr Wilkie's bill was not included in Thursday's parliamentary notice paper, indicating he does not have wider support for the bill.

But he said: "There are politicians on both sides of the house who support a ban on live exports.

"What I am calling for here is for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott and their MPs to support a conscience vote on my private members bill," he said.

"The Australian public do not want this trade to go on, and there are more profitable, better alternatives."

Mr Wilkie said he believed there were economic benefits from stopping the live export trade in favour of more domestic processing of cattle, and export frozen or boxed beef and sheep meat.

He also posed a question to Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Question Time on Thursday, asking what was being done to stop the trade.

Ms Gillard said as with all regulation, the vast majority of people do the right thing most of the time.

"That is the approach we are taking to the live animal export industry and the approach we continue to take," she said.

Topics:  andrew wilkie animal cruelty cattle live exports

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