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Australia Halts Most Cattle Shipments to Indonesia


Workers drag a cow after it was slaughtered in a slaughterhouse in Makassar in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, June 1, 2011

Workers drag a cow after it was slaughtered in a slaughterhouse in Makassar in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, June 1, 2011

Australia has expanded a ban on cattle shipments to Indonesia after a television expose showed images of Indonesian slaughterhouse practices that shocked Australian viewers.

The move, announced late Tuesday, extends a temporary ban on that cattle trade from 11 Indonesian abattoirs to all but five of the country's 770 jurisdictions. The ban is expected to last until Australian authorities are assured that meat processors are using humane practices in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

The TV report, aired last week, showed steers being whipped, beaten and gouged, and taking minutes to die after repeated cuts to the throat.

Critics of those practices are demanding changes in Indonesian slaughter methods so that cattle are shocked senseless with stun guns before the animals are killed. Australia's shipments of live cattle to Indonesia are worth more than $320 million a year.

There was no immediate response from Jakarta to the ban.

Last week, Indonesian officials said that local slaughter methods are based on Islamic teachings.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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