[ABC News, 20 May 2015.] ABC News, in an article by Dan Conifer, is reporting this morning that an Investigation (has been) launched into claims Australian cattle were slaughtered with sledgehammer in Vietnam.

An edited extract of the article is reproduced below. Click here for the original article.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey says the Government will not overreact to claims Australian cattle have been slaughtered with sledgehammers in Vietnam.

Australia’s live export trade is caught in a fresh controversy, with Animals Australia saying it has “shocking and distressing” footage showing animals having their skulls repeatedly smashed at an abattoir in Vietnam’s north…

Speaking in Darwin this morning, Mr Hockey said the live trade export industry would not be completely shut down due to animal cruelty complaints in one region…

Animals Australia launched an investigation in Vietnam “after admissions by industry representatives in April that thousands of Australian cattle had been slaughtered outside approved supply chains,” a statement from the animal rights group said.

“The killing of cattle and buffalo through repeated blows to the head with a sledgehammer is the traditional method of slaughter in Vietnam.”

Vietnam has quickly grown to become Australia’s second largest live export market for cattle, with Animals Australia saying 178,000 animals were exported there last year.

Animals Australia said there had been eight complaints over the past two years about the killing of cattle in Vietnam.

Agriculture Department investigating three potential breaches

Earlier the Agriculture Department said it would investigate the animal rights group’s claims, along with three more self-reported breaches from March this year.

A spokesman for Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said… “[The department] is working with industry to ensure any problems are rectified and that the stringent animal welfare standards required are maintained,” the spokesman said in a statement…

New rules will prevent use of sledgehammers: industry

Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) said it had identified the issue of Australian cattle leaving approved supply chains in Vietnam and ending up in “very basic slaughterhouses”.

The industry body said it was rolling out six tough new measures, including CCTV in Vietnamese feedlots and abattoirs…

“These new conditions that exporters put in place six weeks ago make it very clear to anyone who breaches our conditions they will not receive Australian livestock,” she said.

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