Australian Live Export: Animals Thrash on Floor, Bleeding Out

Posted on by Chelsea Munro

A shocking new PETA exposé shows that workers in Indonesia are still butchering live animals who are imported from Australia, even though the Australian government insisted that the gruesome practice had been stopped.

In October 2023, a PETA Asia investigator recorded video footage showing that two cows with Australian ear tags were thrashing around on an abattoir floor after workers slashed their throats. Both animals were still kicking and one was heard gurgling as they were dragged by their legs across the filthy floors and hoisted. One of the cows continued to struggle until a worker cut deeper into her throat.

Similar Findings Revealed in 2021

In 2021, PETA Asia investigated seven randomly selected abattoirs – some of which were part of the Australian government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) – where animals from Australia were put into restraint boxes and repeatedly shot with a captive-bolt gun before their throats were cut. Workers sometimes failed to stun animals effectively – if at all. Some were simply shoved into a restraint box, and their throats were then slashed. One panicked, still-conscious animal whose head was dangling from his neck was writhing in pain as a worker carved up his flesh and attempted to sever his head.

Little has changed since PETA Asia’s earlier investigation. Even though exporters are required to ensure compliance with ESCAS standards, Australia’s meat industry still ships cattle overseas to countries where they are killed in ways that would be illegal in Australia.

Government Failure

The Australian government has done nothing to stop this rampant abuse. Even though the Labor Party promised during its election campaign in 2019 to phase out the live export of sheep over five years, cattle weren’t included and the party has since refused to commit to a timeline for helping sheep. Nothing has changed.

Widespread Abuse Around the World

The horrors seen in PETA Asia’s footage are not exclusive to Australia. Around the world, countries export cows, sheep, pigs, and other animals for slaughter abroad. They are crammed onto filthy lorries and ships where they languish for days – sometimes even weeks. Deprived of rest and breaks, they are left standing in their own waste without sufficient water or food, resulting in the loss of many lives. Imagine being trapped in a car for weeks.

Animals often don’t survive these dangerous journeys. In 2022, a ship sunk in the Red Sea with 15,000 sheep on board. Across the sea that same year, nearly 800 bulls were sent back to France and killed after a spat between France and Algeria.

You Can Change This Reality

The live-export industry is the meat and leather industry. If you buy meat or leather, you’re paying for this cruelty.

Many blame governments or policymakers, but the responsibility lies with us. Animals will continue to be crammed onto ships and bleed out on abattoir floors as long as humans consume animal-derived products.

The solution to preventing cruelty to animals is to go vegan.

We’re closer than ever to stopping boats crammed with terrified animals from leaving our shores, but we need your help.