Instead of running for cover, Australia should use its influence with our Islamic neighbours to ban unnecessary animal cruelty in the meat trade across the region.
The Country Liberal Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, says the shocking video aired on ABC television called for immediate action on a regional basis, and not the cop-out of another review or bans on the live cattle export trade.
“Australia has a significant Muslim population, which relies on our domestic meat trade using halal slaughter practices for its dietary needs,” Senator Scullion said.
“And the most efficient and humane way of slaughtering cattle is by stunning them before further processing.
“We saw from the Four Corners program that abattoirs in parts of Indonesia using stunning devices, and cattle are dispatched without overt cruelty in accordance with Islamic law.
“In other areas, local Imams have decreed that cattle must be bled out without benefit of stunning. And that causes most of the problem,” Senator Scullion said.
“We do not need a ban on North Australia’s carefully regulated live cattle trade, we need a uniform interpretation of Islamic law across the region which takes account of basic animal welfare standards and modern technology.
“Surely the Australian Government, with the backing of our own Muslim population, can approach peak religious bodies, such as the Indonesia Ulema Council, to seek a ruling that the proper use of stun guns and restraint boxes accords with the teachings of Islam?
“According to Indonesian and Australian media, Sholahudin al-Ayubi, the secretary of this powerful religious organisation, has condemned the cruelty we saw on ABC television as unacceptable under sharia law.
“Hopefully, a uniform, religion-backed ruling on acceptable abattoir practice can then be applied to our other trading partners with majority Muslim populations – Malaysia, Brunei and the Middle East.
“And these practices should apply to all cattle — Indonesia’s domestic herd, as well as the 500,000 Australian imports.”
“I am positive that Australia’s Muslim population is as horrified at such animal cruelty, and would willingly talk to its co-religious in neighbouring countries to bring their slaughtering practices more into line with acceptable standards of animal welfare.”
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110606 Stunning is key to human abbatoir practices in Australasian region.pdf