Animals slaughtered to Onward Christian Soldiers

Animal cruelty is an area I’ve investigated as a muckraking novelist, but I was still appalled by the ABC’s story on the cruelty of the slaughtering of Australia’s live animals exported to the Middle East.

I had previousy witnessed cruelty while I worked at Angliss’s slaughterhouse in Footscray, Australia, but not to that extent. My job was cleaning skins. One morning I was surprised to hear the slaughterers singing Onward Christian Soldiers. I went to see what was happening. One of the slaughterman with a hangover had cut the throat of the Judas goat. The goat led the sheep into the slaughter pens. The sheep were uneasy without such a leader and the slaughtermen had to drive them into the killing pens. Those were the days when the sheep had their throat cuts so they’d bleed to death and were set on a steel hook to be skun and butchered. These days I’m told it is a more humane process.

The handling of such animals, up until the knife work, had been relaively cautious because it was thought that too much turmoil during the killing created too much adrenaline and therefore tough meat.

Tonight I watched the story on the 7.30 Report on how animals are slaughtered and tortured in the Middle East. It was appalling: deliberate cruelty and openly sadistic methods were employed. The killers appeared to have a personal hatred towards the animals. How Australian farmers could continue to export live animals after discovering how their animals are treated is beyond me? Hopefully, despite the spin from politician McGauran, they will
stop the process.

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