Author Topic: Indonesian slaughterhouse owner admits to cruelty. Is this an industry PR setup?  (Read 811 times)

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Abattoir owner admits to cruelty.

 THE owner of an Indonesian abattoir at the centre of a new row over alleged cruelty in slaughtering cattle has insisted he and his workers were trying to follow the new standards set by Canberra.

"We were trying to follow the procedures," said Menon, whose abattoir on the western outskirts of greater Jakarta was one of two featured in video footage obtained by Animals Australia from a local investigator.

Labor MP Melissa Parke -- one of a group of backbenchers who protested at the lifting of last June's live cattle export ban to Indonesia -- said the "terribly distressing" footage showed the regulations drafted after last May's Four Corners expose were insufficient.

She said the Labor caucus working group on the issue had received a briefing on the investigation yesterday from Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig's office.

"There is a strong feeling among caucus members that this is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed and that is why there was a meeting," she said last night.

Mr Menon admitted the footage, broadcast by the ABC's Lateline on Tuesday, of a steer rearing wildly as a worker poked it in the head with a knife-sharpening iron before its throat was cut was taken in his five-year-old abattoir in the village of Petir.

"I have to admit, it happened in our slaughterhouse," he said.

The abattoir, identified by the RSPCA as Temu Petir 2, is known in Petir as Haji Menon's Animal Slaughterhouse. It is next door to the abattoir the RSPCA called Temu Petir 1, Haji Nurhendrik's Slaughterhouse. Nobody there wanted to talk yesterday.

But an apologetic Mr Menon readily opened his gates.

His abattoir's story is not one of mindless cruelty, says the 52-year-old, but of inexperience; of him and his workers coming to grips with a tough new system under conditions they've never experienced before.

Even the man poking the steer in the face, he says, wasn't trying to be vicious -- "at that time he was trying to make it calm down" -- though he was sacked soon after the video was made surreptitiously in late January.

"That man, I had to fire about a month ago because he couldn't follow orders," he said.

"We were under supervision from the importers and from the Australians."

Haji Menon's Animal Slaughterhouse resumed killing imported cattle three months ago, after the works were upgraded to meet the standards imposed by the Australian government on the Indonesian supply chain.

The owner yesterday showed the new Mark IV crush boxes he bought from Australia, new railings and runways installed to separately handle imported cattle, and upgrading work under way.

His 15 workers had been retrained in the new killing requirements, though Mr Menon admits some not as well as others.

"At the time we were just learning how to slaughter the cows properly, after the training, and it was difficult for us."

The Menon works purchased Australian stock only from one accredited feedlotter, Great Giant Livestock of Lampung.

Ms Parke, who was unable to make the meeting in Canberra, said she would raise the mandatory introduction of stunning with the government.

"I also believe there should be CCTV cameras in abattoirs slaughtering Australian animals, both in Australia and overseas," she said.

Victorian MP Kelvin Thomson said the images were "sickening" and were not acceptable.

"I continue to believe that stunning of exported cattle is the best way to secure animal welfare outcomes," he said.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry deputy secretary Phillip Glyde said the animals in the footage "looked like" Australian cattle and the investigation team was working to "confirm" this and whether the abattoir was part of an audited supply chain. He said an exporter could potentially face licence suspension.

Greens MP Adam Bandt said Senator Ludwig had "not really covered himself in glory" and independent MP Andrew Wilkie said it did not help "mend" his relationship with Julia Gillard.

Senator Ludwig maintained the government was "holding the export industry to account".

"For the first time, where a breach occurs action will be taken against the exporters responsible," he said. "As I said when I announced the roll out of the regulatory system, errors may occur. What this system delivers is the ability to identify where breaches occur and take action to address these breaches."

Northern Territory Cattlemen Association head Luke Bowen said producers, like the public, were "very disappointed" to see footage that appeared to show breaches in regulations.

Additional reporting: Milanda Rout


by: Peter Alford and Telly Nathalia
From: The Australian
March 01, 2012

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/abattoir-owner-admits-to-cruelty/story-fn59nm2j-1226285559621
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 12:03:56 PM by WA Export News »