It's been 9 years since over 100,000 Australians signed a petition to end the live export of cattle to Indonesia after the airing of the ABC's Four Corners program “A Bloody Business.”
The program resulted in around 60,000 media articles spotlighting Australia's live export industry.
Instead of a ban, the government's five-week suspension of the trade saw the establishment of ESCAS as a way forward to reduce the end-destination cruelty shown on the program.
The live export trade was well aware before the Four Corners program that inhumane slaughter practices were routine in Indonesia. And the fact that representatives from Animals Australia, and Four Corners could easily gain entry into the abattoirs to get the footage indicated the Indonesians also felt there was nothing to hide.
The farmers took the Govt to court over the 5 week trade suspension (nothing compared to what businesses have suffered in Covid!). The outcome will be announced tomorrow but if logic prevailed, they should have taken the government (not to mention MLA and the live exporters) to task for turning a blind eye to what was going on, not for suspending the trade once they were caught out.
It's still a “bloody business”. Animals Australia recently provided footage of the slaughter of Australian cattle in the basement carpark of an Indonesian mosque in August 2019. The video showed tail pulling, hitting, kicking, ear pulling and leg roping. Three of 20 cattle involved suffered 7, 14 and 20 knife strikes before finally succumbing to death (ESCAS report 172).
The reality is that these types of incidents aren't isolated, and they aren't limited to Indonesia. There have now been over 170 ESCAS non-compliance cases investigated by the government with Animals Australia still the major independent unpaid "auditor". ESCAS is never going to work well enough to provide acceptable animal welfare outcomes in countries with meagre, if any, animal welfare concerns.