Cattle cruelty in Egypt systemic and routine

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 5 May 2013

Graphic evidence of the appalling abuse of Australian cattle
in Egypt has forced Australian live exporters to voluntarily suspend the live
trade to that country.

This was the only legitimate decision industry could take
given the evidence clearly shows that the cruel treatment of cattle is systemic and routine, but it is cold comfort for the
thousands of cattle who have already been brutally slaughtered and those who
remain in Egypt, said Animals Australia Communications Director, Lisa Chalk.

Animals Australia investigators travelled to Egypt in April
2013 after being contacted by an Egyptian veterinarian who was concerned about
the cruel practices at both the Ain Sokhna and Ismailia abattoirs. Last week
Animals Australia provided the Department of Agriculture with footage and eye
witness testimony chronicling a horror story of routine abuse of Australian
animals at both of these facilities – the only two in Egypt accredited to take Australian cattle.

The live trade with Egypt was suspended in 2006 after
Animals Australia documented cattle having their leg tendons slashed and eyes
stabbed at Cairo’s Bassateen abattoir. The first shipments of Australian cattle
returned to Egypt in 2010 after an MoU was signed with Egypt committing to treat
Australian cattle in accordance with base line international standards and that
animals would be restricted to ‘approved’ facilities.

The tendon slashing of cattle in the notorious Bassateen
abattoir is what led to the suspension of the cattle trade to Egypt in 2006 so
Australians will be horrified to learn that Australian animals have again been
subjected to such brutality.

The footage shows some horrific instances of cruelty, but
disturbingly, it also reveals the systematic abuse inflicted on hundreds of
Australian cattle each day in these slaughterhouses. They are subjected to
restraint boxes that terrorise, traumatise and injure them before they have
their throats brutally cut.

“That these two facilities, and the inhumane equipment
within them, were ever approved for Australian animals is damning. It has
taken the efforts of a courageous Egyptian vet who has despaired at the
treatment of animals in his country’s abattoirs, to expose the treatment our
cattle have been receiving."

While it is easy to be horrified by the behaviour of the
Egyptian workers, Australians should be equally horrified that our animals were
ever placed at such risk again in a country that has an appalling track record
in animal welfare.

“Rather than expressing their horror at the latest evidence
from Egypt, our live export representatives should be hanging their heads in
shame. They were the ones who inconceivably considered these facilities in
Egypt state-of-the-art and who failed to care enough to monitor the activities
inside of them."