Petition Closed
Petitioning Cattle Council of Australia and 5 others

Ban the Use of Full Inversion Slaugher Boxes - Live Animal Export Trade

These boxes involve animals being tipped 180 degrees and having their throats cut whilst fully conscious, immobilised, suspended upside down and in a state of extreme distress. As prey animals, this position of vulnerability is extremely stressful. The position of their internal organs such as the rumen cause cattle to experience even greater distress from inversion, and they can potentially end up inhaling blood and digested food. Slaughter via throat cut without stunning is highly painful due to the sensitivity of the nerve fibres in the neck region.
We appeal to our producers, who have bred and raised cattle according to the high standards expected in Australia, to please join with us in calling on the government to ban the use of full inversion boxes in the live export trade.

Letter to
Cattle Council of Australia
Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association
AgForce
and 3 others
National Farmers' Federation
Australian Livestock Exporters Council
The Pastoralists & Graziers Association of WA
Ban the Use of Full Inversion Slaugher Boxes - Live Animal Export Trade

We would like to introduce ourselves as the Executive members of Sentient, The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics. Sentient is an independent, non-for-profit, veterinary-driven organisation. Our aim is to use scientific knowledge to assist governments, industry and the public to adhere to the highest possible standards of animal welfare. This is in the interests of both the animal, and maintenance of our reputation as leaders in the production of high quality products. One of the ways we do this is by raising awareness of welfare issues and advocating for solutions that allow the needs of animals to be appropriately and humanely met within the various enterprises involving their use.

It is well known that the live animal export trade presents multiple areas of concern regarding animal welfare. We are also learning of the risks posed to Australian farmers. There is increasing evidence that this trade will be unsustainable in the long term due to economic forces and changing agendas in importing countries. For these reasons, Sentient supports a phasing out of the trade, with full government assistance for producers to shift towards a market of chilled and frozen meat exports. This would involve the establishment of local abattoirs where animals are humanely slaughtered after stunning, according to Australian standards. This form of slaughter has been widely accepted by the Muslim community, both within Australia, and in export markets such as Indonesia.

The reason for this letter is to raise your awareness of the use and implications of ‘full inversion slaughter boxes’ at live export destinations such as Egypt and Israel. In summary, these boxes involve animals being tipped 180 degrees and having their throats cut whilst fully conscious, immobilised, suspended upside down and in a state of extreme distress. As prey animals, this position of vulnerability is extremely stressful. The position of their internal organs such as the rumen cause cattle to experience even greater distress from inversion, and they can potentially end up inhaling blood and digested food. Slaughter via throat cut without stunning is highly painful due to the sensitivity of the nerve fibres in the neck region.

It is incomprehensible to us that the government has approved the use of these boxes under Australia’s live export regulations. The international OIE standards are disturbingly much lower than our own standards, and do not provide any protection in this instance. As veterinarians, we feel a duty to ensure that people in the community are aware of the cruelty involved in this practice.

We appeal to you, as producers who have bred and raised cattle according to the high standards expected in Australia, to please join with us in calling on the government to ban the use of full inversion boxes in the live export trade.