The abuse of cattle from Australia’s livestock export program is once again in the spotlight after animal rights activists released confronting and graphic footage of cattle being slaughtered on the streets of Gaza.
Animals Australia posted a 3-minute clip , which repeatedly shows the moment when men cut the throats of tethered cattle, often surrounded by large gathering, on its Ban Live Export website yesterday. The website calls on viewers to lobby MPs to ban live export, saying the footage “shows cattle being terrorised by crowds and tortured in streets and makeshift slaughterhouses — all in breach of Australia’s live export regulations”.
In the video, some cattle are kicked to the ground before being killed. One man attempts the kill with a semi-automatic weapon fired from several metres away. The animals are not stunned prior to slaughter. A caption on the video says it was taken during the Festival of Sacrifice in October 2013.
WARNING: This video shows live animals being killed and may cause distress.
Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) is an annual 3-day Muslim festival at the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It recalls the Quran and Old Testament story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son. The act is meant to be solemn, with Allah being invoked at the time of slaughter and the meat is divided into thirds for family, friends and the poor.
But the footage has caused an uproar in Australia with the federal ALP once more calling for a halt to live export while the matter is investigated.
In 2011, the then-Labor federal suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia after footage, taken by animal rights activists, of cattle being abused in Indonesian abattoirs, was screened on the ABC’s Four Corners program.
The Department of Agriculture has been investigating the Gaza incident for the past month.
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