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Tonight ABC’s 7:30 exposed shocking animal abuse in an Israeli abattoir just weeks after it was approved by the Australian government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS). 

The program revealed that an audit of Bakar Tnuva abattoir was conducted between 16-18 July 2012 and found its only failings to be a rusty gate causing excessive noise, yet this footage, taken only two to three months later* shows extensive animal abuse taking place.

Footage shows sheep being aggressively beaten, thrown and dragged by a single leg to move them towards the slaughter area. Injured cattle are seen being repeatedly shocked with an electric prodder around the face, eyes and genitals. Workers are filmed dragging injured cattle out of the holding area with a forklift before pulling them off the ground with ropes. 

“The workers are deliberately inflicting pain on injured animals in order to get them to move. It’s a severe case of animal cruelty, and if this facility was in Australia the community would expect government to shut it down,” says Dr Bidda Jones, RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist.

“Israel media is reporting that the Israel government and police force has opened a criminal investigation into the incident, which is further proof of the extent of abuse occurring in this facility. 
“The footage shows this abattoir does not meet even basic OIE Guidelines in terms of the competency of the workers or the arrangements for the handling and slaughter of cattle or sheep.

“The fact that a facility like this, with such entrenched problems can pass an ESCAS audit casts a huge shadow over the entire supply chain assurance system. The entire process rests on the veracity of the auditing arrangements. 

“This is proof that no scheme or agreements can fully safeguard the welfare of animals exported live overseas for slaughter. No matter how much industry or Government involvement there is, the live export trade presents an unacceptable level of risk for the animals and is inherently cruel.

“The Australian government must immediately reject any applications by exporters that will involve this facility to prevent further animal suffering. 

“Live export is a senseless trade – from both an animal welfare and economic perspective – and planning for a future without it is in the best interests of Australian animals and a sustainable livestock industry in this country,” says Dr Jones.

* The footage was taken over the period 09/09/12 to 24/10/12

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