Hidden camera footage obtained in an investigation by the animal rights group Animals Australia shows cattle having their tails deliberately crushed, attempting to regain their feet after having their throats cut – which means the slaughter cut was too shallow, likely to prevent the slaughter knife from being nicked in the upside down pen's restraints – and being hoisted upside down while fully conscious – all in the name of either glatt kosher slaughter (shechita) or, more likely in this case, halal slaughter.
The Age reports:
Australian cattle and sheep have been filmed being brutally slaughtered in an Australian-approved abattoir in Israel.
The hidden camera footage, obtained in an investigation by animal rights group Animals Australia, shows cattle having their tails deliberately crushed, attempting to regain their feet after having their throats sawn and being hoisted upside down while fully conscious.
The organisation said closed circuit television cameras which could be accessed remotely by the Australian Department of Agriculture should be made mandatory in all Australian-accredited slaughterhouses.
Animals Australia chief investigator Lyn White said this remote access to CCTV vision was necessary because the presence of CCTV cameras in the Dabbah abattoir, located in the town of Deir Al Asad, had not deterred workers from mistreating the animals. Two Australian exporters - Livestock Shipping Services and Otway Exports - ship animals to Israel.
Ms White said the investigation highlighted the failure of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), the regulatory framework set up in 2011 to ensure animals exported from Australia were treated humanely, following the suspension of the live cattle trade to Indonesia in response to revelations of cruelty.
"That Australian cattle could be subjected to such abuse in an approved abattoir presents further evidence that this system is fatally flawed," Ms White said.
"Once again, without the efforts of Animals Australia, the 'regulator' wouldn't even know that Australian regulations are being breached.
"Three years into this system, we are seeing horrific cruelty continue in various countries as a result of an abject failure of the Department of Agriculture to mete out any meaningful repercussions for serious breaches."
Animals Australia has lodged a complaint with the Department of Agriculture and with Israeli authorities.
In a statement issued on Monday, the department said it shared community concerns about animal welfare and was acting on the complaint, which it received on May 27.
"The Department of Agriculture is, as the industry regulator, taking action to investigate animal welfare concerns relating to Australian cattle at the abattoir," the statement said.
"The information in the complaint has been provided to Israeli authorities for investigation and any necessary actions.
"The department has contacted exporters who supply the abattoir seeking more information about the complaint and requiring assurances that international animal welfare standards are being met at the facility."
Update 6:28 pm CDT – The Times of Israel reports that it is Israel's largest kosher slaughterhouse and that Israel's Channel 2 broke the story last night:
The Australian government has demanded a probe into practices at Israel’s largest slaughterhouse, after an investigative report on Channel 2 News alleged serious abuse of cattle on its way to slaughter.
Sunday’s report (Hebrew) showed workers at the Deir al-Assad kosher meat factory in northern Israel beating the animals in an effort to hurry them onwards to the slaughter. The men kicked and hit the cattle with sticks, dragged them across the floor by their legs, and repeatedly hit them with a metal gate to push them forward.…
The Dabah company, which runs the slaughterhouse, said meanwhile that it had always striven “to provide optimal conditions to the animals in its facilities” and claimed the workers were acting against company policies. Dabah said it had fired the offending employees and would ensure such incidents did not happen again.
[Hat Tip: BeenThereDoneThat.]