Cows inside a pen

A ‘Bloody Business’: routine, widespread and industry-facilitated cruelty to cattle exposed.

Animals Australia's first investigation in Indonesia - as shown on Four Corners - exposed the routine, widespread and brutal treatment of Australian cattle. The level of industry knowledge and complicity revealed a damning picture of the live export trade and led to sweeping reforms of the entire industry.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated May 30, 2011

ABC’s Four Corners exposé of the treatment of Australian cattle exported live to Indonesia showed a damning picture of this trade. Animals Australia and RSPCA Australia jointly launched a campaign to ban live animal export.

The Four Corners exposé featured never-before seen footage from Animals Australia’s investigation into the live cattle trade to Indonesia. It also included Four Corners‘ own footage, taken in the same slaughterhouses and showing similar atrocities as Animals Australia’s investigators had witnessed.

Please watch the Four Corner’s exposé of the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia and join our Ban Live Export campaign to help us end this trade.

Every year, millions of animals born into Australian care and protection are exported live, only to be killed in countries where there are no protections to safeguard their welfare.

Since 2003, Animals Australia has conducted dozens of investigations into the treatment of animals exported live to the Middle East, South East Asia and North Africa . Footage from these investigations has routinely revealed the live export industry’s willingness to export animals to countries regardless of how cruelly they will be treated.

Whilst consecutive Federal Governments continue to defend this indefensible trade, it is critical that all caring Australians be given the opportunity to learn the truth about live animal export. So please watch Four Corners online and encourage friends and family to watch it too.

The program reveals in stark detail the complicity of Australia’s live export industry in not only knowingly supplying animals to abject cruelty, but through the installation of brutal slaughter boxes throughout Indonesia, facilitating and entrenching it.


Independents Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon introduced legislation to both houses of Federal Parliament to ban live exports.

On Tuesday 31st May 2011 Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig announced the suspension of live cattle exports to the 11 Indonesian abattoirs investigated by ABC’s Four Corners.

On Wednesday 8th June 2011 Prime Minister Gillard announced a suspension on the live cattle trade to Indonesia.

Trade ultimately resumed to Indonesia but not before significant reform was forced on the entire industry which for the first time made live export companies legally responsible for animals right up until the point of slaughter. Our investigation was also a catalyst for the rapid and widespread uptake of pre-slaughter stunning for Australian cattle in Indonesia – something the industry had previously insisted was an ‘aspirational’ goal only.

Without the generosity of Animals Australia members and donors, investigations such as these would never have been possible. Please support our work today.