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All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : WA Export News April 23, 2013, 11:22:33 AM

: Muslim clerics ask to abandon pre-stunning cattle- prefer cruelty and suffering.
: WA Export News April 23, 2013, 11:22:33 AM
Alarm at clerics' call against stunning.   

AUSTRALIAN authorities are monitoring a push by a regional branch of Indonesia's peak Muslim clerical body to abandon the pre-slaughter stunning of cattle, triggering fresh concerns about the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs.
 
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said last night the Gillard government had been in consultation with Indonesia since learning the country's Ulama Council (MUI) was conducting an audit of stunning practices.

"The Gillard government remains committed to the livestock export trade," Mr Ludwig said.

Sources have told The Australian the government and the live export industry have been in "crisis talks" since the Banten province MUI declared that the stunning methods used were "imperfect".

While it appears the clerics stopped short of ordering that stunning be halted, the Department of Agriculture has sought assurances from exporters that Australian cattle are not affected.

"Exporters have confirmed that they have access in their approved supply chains to abattoirs that are not affected by this fatwa," a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture said. "The department is working with its counterparts in Indonesia . . . to provide more information to Indonesian officials about halal-compliant stunning practices."

KH Maruf Amin, national chairman of the MUI, said yesterday the national council had not issued any new fatwa on the use of stunning. He told The Australian: "A provincial ruling cannot contradict the central council's ruling. We will be calling on Banten MUI to explain their position."

Australian Livestock Exporters' Council chief executive Alison Penfold said the push from the provincial MUI to abandon pre-slaughter stunning would affect only five abattoirs.

But a spokeswoman for Animals Australia expressed alarm: "Fully conscious slaughter of cattle involves significant and unavoidable suffering."


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/alarm-at-clerics-call-against-stunning/story-fn59nm2j-1226626345539 (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/alarm-at-clerics-call-against-stunning/story-fn59nm2j-1226626345539)