After ABC Australia's news program Four Corners aired "A Bloody Business" showing the unbelievably cruel killing of Australian cows following their export to Indonesia, the Australian government suspended live exports of cows to that country. The graphic video shows conscious cows having their eyes gouged out and their limbs cut open; they were also kicked and beaten during slaughter.
"A sustainable live cattle export industry must be built on the ability to safeguard the welfare of the animals," said Australian agricultural minister Joe Ludwig. "The trade to Indonesia will only recommence when we are certain industry is able to comply with that."
The suspension of live exports to Indonesia will spare hundreds of thousands of cows from a nightmarish death, but PETA, PETA Australia, and Animals Australia, which shot the video footage, are calling for a permanent ban on all live animal exports, citing multiple investigations by the organizations revealing appalling cruelty at every step of the live export process—and not just in Indonesia but all over the Middle East.
Australia also exports sheep who are "grown" for meat or discarded by the wool industry. These frightened animals spend weeks crammed together on multideck ships, often suffering through storms or blazing heat. Many die of illness, dehydration, or heat exhaustion or are trampled to death. Survivors are dragged from the ships, thrown into the backs of cars and trucks, and driven to slaughter facilities where they will have their throats cut while still conscious.
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk will appear on CNN International Asian Morning News on Thursday to make the case for a total ban on all live exports and to ask consumers to stop eating animals.
Written by Michelle Sherrow