Australia cattle ‘sledge hammered’ in Vietnam abattoirs: investigators

Workers in Vietnamese abattoirs have been filmed using sledgehammers to bludgeon Australian cattle, activists said Thursday, with livestock exporters vowing prompt action over alleged “brutal treatment” in the multi-million dollar industry.

Undercover investigators working for Animals Australia shot footage of one worker clubbing a cow over the head five times with a sledgehammer before it fell to the ground.

The man then hit it a further four times before it finally died.

The activist group said it recently visited 13 slaughterhouses in North and Central Vietnam, one of Australia’s biggest live cattle export markets, in what it said on Facebook was “their most dangerous operation ever.”

“Only two met Australian requirements for approved abattoirs,” campaign director Lyn White told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which was due to air the footage on national television later Thursday.

“I thought I’d seen it all, and I haven’t,” she said, adding that it was the “most shocking” vision she had witnessed.

It is the second time the group has exposed the alleged practices of Vietnamese abattoirs, claiming thousands of Australian cattle have been slaughtered in facilities not approved by Canberra, as required by export controls.

White said Animal Australia chose not to publicly release video it shot last year, but instead supplied it to the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC).

She claims the industry body promised a response within six weeks, but nothing ever happened, which was why she was now going public.

In a statement, the ALEC claimed it had yet to be supplied with the evidence but would act immediately, including suspending the abattoirs involved from receiving Australian cattle.

It also pledged to review management systems and oversight of control and traceability of cattle to determine how some could end up in non-approved facilities.

“There is no sidestepping the issue,” ALEC chief executive Alison Penfold said in statement.

“If the evidence is of brutal treatment of Australian cattle — such as sledge hammering or other cruel practices — then individual exporter, feedlot or abattoir systems to oversee control and traceability have failed to detect them.”

Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources ordered a probe into the “abhorrent animal cruelty,” adding that the animals depicted in the footage were likely exported from the nation.

 

Source: China Post