[Thanh Nien News, 21 May 2015.] Sledgehammer cattle killings are not common in Vietnam: officials by Quang Thuan and Phan Hau.
An edited extract appears below.
There has been plenty of outcry after an animal welfare group accused Vietnamese slaughterhouse workers of killing cattle imported from Australia with sledgehammers.
While officials and industry insiders in Vietnam conceded that the practice exists, they believe it does not involve Australian cattle nor is it widespread.
“The image of someone using a sledgehammer to kill a cow could only be seen at a small, possibly unlicensed abattoir and thus there’s no chance it was a cow imported from Australia,” said Van Duc Muoi, general director of leading meat supplier Vissan. Muoi said only the large slaughterhouses in Vietnam meet conditions to receive Australian cattle and they all follow humane killing standards…
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday that his government will investigate the claims but it will not suspend live cattle exports to Vietnam.
Vietnam imported 178,000 of cattle from Australia in 2014, becoming its second largest cattle market after Indonesia. Australian cows now supply for 70 percent of beef on local market…
(Muoi) said Australia since late 2012 has been tightening the slaughtering management in Vietnam with a system set up to ensure animals from Australia are treated humanely… He said the abattoirs dealing with Australian cattle in Vietnam have to use electric shock or anesthesia to kill them immediately or keep them unconscious until death.
Phan Xuan Thao, director of Ho Chi Minh’s Animal Health Department, confirmed that none of the large abattoirs licensed for Australian cattle in the city use sledgehammers. The 11 slaughterhouses receiving Australian cattle in Hanoi do not practice the traditional hammer method either, officials said.
“The method may only be used at small abattoirs operating in rural provinces out of authorities’ control,” Thao said…
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Two Vietnamese Importers banned
“Alison Penfold from the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council said the industry had recently voluntarily banned two Vietnamese importers from taking Australian cattle amid concerns over animal welfare issues.” West Australian Newspaper, 21 May 2015.
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