Live export cruelty exposed in Gaza — again

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 3 March 2014

Animals tied up and stabbed, thrashing and bellowing in pain … These are images live exporters would not want you to see. But these tragic scenes were uncovered by an Animals Australia investigator only days ago in the Gaza Strip.

It is only a few months since footage was uncovered of shocking, widespread abuse of Australian bulls in the Gaza Strip. Now, this new evidence reveals that not only is this cruelty continuing at non-approved slaughterhouses, but those animals being killed at the one government approved abattoir in Gaza are also suffering terribly.

Only one live exporter has approval to export to Gaza — Livestock Shipping Services. This company is already under investigation for breaches of regulations in Gaza and Jordan — resulting in terrible suffering for animals. Now Animals Australia has submitted another formal complaint for these latest incidents of cruelty in Gaza.

Cruelty within the approved supply chain

Evidence gathered at the Australian accredited abattoir in Gaza shows the facility does not meet the required standards — it does not even adhere to the base-level international guidelines that underpin Australia’s live export regulations.

In tragic scenes, a terrified Australian steer is ushered into a slaughter box that does not have a head restraint. Understandably anxious and confused, he refuses to put his head through the opening, which is covered in blood. Before ensuring he is in position the box is tipped upside down.

Inverting cattle is terribly cruel even when done ‘properly’ – what happened to this animal was horrendous.

Unable to easily access his neck, the abattoir worker reaches in and stabs at the trapped animal. When the head of the flailing animal finally emerges from the box — the worker stabs his throat time and time again — until, eventually, he loses consciousness.

It defies belief that this abattoir was actually audited and approved to take Australian animals, and that this very slaughter box was ever considered acceptable.

Cruelty outside the approved supply chain

In scenes disturbingly reminiscent of ‘Indonesia’, another Australian bull is led to the slaughter floor of an abattoir that is not part of the approved supply chain. He is strung by rope between two poles. After struggling against the ropes, he collapses and is repeatedly stabbed in the neck until his throat has been crudely cut open.

Inside yet another non-approved slaughterhouse, an Australian bull has had the tendon on one of his back legs slashed and has been tied to a pole. He stumbles repeatedly, bellowing out, as he scrambles to get free. The slaughter man lunges in stabbing and sawing at his neck, while another man pulls on his tail. He continues to struggle to stay on his feet, but soon collapses.

Evidence obtained by the Animals Australia investigator revealed Australian cattle are being killed in four separate slaughterhouses in the Gaza Strip that are not approved to take Australian animals.

Poor animal and human welfare

It’s clear that the people slaughtering these big, effectively untamed animals do not have the skills or infrastructure necessary to handle them humanely. Providing ill-equipped and fearful workers with Australian cattle is a recipe for disaster – for humans and animals.

The obvious lack of hygiene in these facilities only reinforces the irresponsible nature of supplying live animals, especially when the importer in Gaza, Afana Brothers Co., is also a large importer of chilled and frozen Australian meat.

Take Action

While fewer politicians support live export today than ever before, those who still do do so on the condition that live export is ‘humane’. Take action today, to remind them that animals continue to suffer in this cruel trade.