Fresh footage of cattle slaughter at two Indonesian abattoirs, obtained by ABC TV's Lateline program, shows serious and systematic breaches of the government's new Export Supply Chain Assurance System, said Greens MP and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
"Agriculture Minister Senator Joe Ludwig must immediately confirm whether Australian cattle are going through the Temur Petir and Cakung abattoirs in Jakarta and, if so, commit to applying the strongest sanctions to minimise the suffering and distress revealed last night", Senator Rhiannon said.
"The footage that the ABC is screening shows evidence of clear-cut, multiple and serious breaches of the government's new supply chain assurance system.
"Sickening practices included cattle being held in head restraints for longer than the allowable ten seconds and cattle being taunted before slaughter.
"It appears that workers routinely cut out ear tags, plunged their hands into throat cuts and threw water on the animal, before doing the required checks to ensure the animal was dead.
"These cruel and distressing practices put a big question mark over the government's new regulations which are supposed to protect Australian cattle. What is the use of a new system if it is not being enforced?
"It should be the responsibility of the Australian government to monitor and audit these abattoirs, instead it is left to courageous and committed animal rights activists such as Animals Australia to expose the continuing cruelty in the live export industry.
"The Greens are calling on Senator Ludwig to put more resources into monitoring and enforcement of the supply chain assurance system .
"To maintain any public confidence in the system, the government needs to apply the full force of sanctions in this instance. Ultimately live exports should be banned," said Senator Rhiannon.