Friday, February 10, 2012

Glass houses and stones

There was a huge fuss in the middle of last year when (surprise, surprise) an Indonesian abattoir was found to be severely mistreating animals. There was understandable outrage when film of the abuses was screened. A lot of it was because Australian animals were being mistreated - as though the nationality of the animals is relevant.

Our government put a temporary ban on live animal exports to Indonesia, amid the usual hysteria about job losses and businesses going bust.

There was massive media coverage and on radio I heard more than one caller talk about the same kind of appalling treatment being meted out to animals in our own abattoirs.

Now film has emerged of exactly that, recorded in secret and screened on ABC TV's Lateline last night.

To their credit the owners of Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors handed over the film to the authorities. It has also been handed over to police. Although, as it's described as a small family business I'm surprised that the owners appear to have been unaware of what was going on.

The abattoir has been closed and apparently the workers involved have been stood down. Let's hope that's just the start of it. The Prevention of Cruelty act allows fines of up to $110,000 or two years' imprisonment.

Something we complain regularly about in Dubai is the lack of enforcement of laws and regulations. It looks very much as though we have the same problem here.

It makes very unpleasant viewing, but the Lateline report is here.

1 comment:

Richard Barnes said...

I completely agree that regulations relating to abattoirs in Australia should be enforced. Of course prevention of cruelty laws must be observed but another concern is that if those rules are not being followed is there a similar lack of compliance with regard to hygiene regulations?