2011/19: Live animal export: are the new recommendations for the export and slaughter of Australian livestock adequate?

Introduction to the media issue

Video clip at right:
An ABC news report which preceded the Four Corners report of Monday May 30. Part of this report shows the use of "cattle restraining boxes" apparently supplied by Meat and Livestock Australia as a means of "controlling" beasts in Indonesian slaughterhouses. Warning: this footage contains material likely to cause distress to viewers. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.

What they said...
'The government's live export reforms represent the most significant and wide reaching changes to the live export industry in almost a decade'
Department of Agriculture information brochure

'This review was an opportunity to properly protect animals at the point of slaughter but instead there is no recommendation on stunning and the government has made no commitment to require it'
Heather Neil, the chief executive of the RSPCA

The issue at a glance
On October 21, 2011, the Australian federal government announced that by the end of 2012 all livestock exporters will have to ensure that animals sent overseas are handled and processed according to internationally accepted welfare standards. To ensure these standards are met the livestock will be traced via independent verification and performance audits.
The changes do not guarantee that animals will be stunned before they are killed; however, the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Mr Joe Ludwig, has maintained that stunning will be strongly encouraged.
The Government has accepted all recommendations made by the Independent Review of Australia's Livestock Export Trade (the Farmer Review) and reports from the Cattle and Sheep Industry-Government Working Groups.