PRESS RELEASE: Call for CCTV in all Australian abattoirs

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On FEB 10, 2012

Animals Australia says the latest case of abattoir cruelty exposed in New South Wales last night reinforces the need for closed circuit television cameras to be installed in all Australian abattoirs.

"We've had two cases in two months of appalling cruelty to animals in domestic abattoirs -- last December in Gippsland and now in Sydney. It is profoundly disturbing that in these abattoirs an iron bar and a sledgehammer were kept on hand to beat animals," said Animals Australia Campaign Director Lyn White.

"One of the problems is that unlike export abattoirs, domestic abattoirs don't have an inspector or government officer on site most of the time. This lack of oversight leaves farm animals incredibly vulnerable."

Last December evidence was documented of extreme cruelty to pigs in a Trafalgar abattoir at Gippsland.

Pigs were being stabbed in the eyes and ears with stunning equipment. One escaped pig was beaten to death with a sledgehammer and another was left to bleed out for more than four minutes after the throat cut. The abattoir's licence was immediately revoked and an investigation is underway.

"Most concerning in both of these cases is that much of the cruelty documented seemed to be the routine method of handling and slaughtering animals at these facilities."

Animals Australia is calling on authorities to follow the lead of the UK where one in five abattoirs has already been fitted with CCTV cameras.

"We would like to see a similar approach adopted in Australia for both domestic and export abattoirs. Only the presence of cameras will actively discourage workers from engaging in such wanton acts of gross cruelty."

Animals Australia said it was pleased that the Hawkesbury Valley abattoir has been shut down but reiterated that there are no guarantees that similar breaches aren't occurring in other Australian facilities.

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