Australia suspends cattle exports to Egypt as video shows animal cruelty

Updated 05 May 2013
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Australia suspends cattle exports to Egypt as video shows animal cruelty

SYDNEY: Australian livestock exporters said yesterday they were suspending live cattle exports to Egypt after a graphic video purportedly showed animal cruelty in Egyptian abattoirs and prompted Canberra to launched an investigation.
Agriculture officials said they had taken the matter up with Cairo, as Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said he was “dismayed” that the footage provided by animal rights group Animals Australia had not been made available sooner.
Animals Australia, which is campaigning for an end to the live export trade, said the footage was shot over recent months at two abattoirs approved under a joint agreement which allowed the resumption of live animal exports to Egypt in 2010.
Alison Penfold, chief executive officer of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, said she was appalled by the footage but said she had visited the Egyptian facilities last year and found procedures then complied with Australian requirements.
“We are very genuine about the suspension. There will be no animals going into those facilities until the standards are met,” Penfold told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The video showed “appalling practices during the slaughter process.”
Australia’s live export industry is worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the national economy, but has been beset by controversy. Local animal rights activists say the trade is cruel and should be banned.
Many of the animals go to predominantly Muslim countries, where they are slaughtered in accordance with Islamic requirements. Exports to Egypt were halted in 2006 but re-started four years later. Exports to Indonesia were halted for several months in 2011, also over cruelty allegations.
Animals Australia said around 3,000 Australia cattle were currently in Egypt awaiting slaughter and said the industry had no choice but to halt the trade.
“This was the only legitimate decision industry could take given the evidence clearly shows that the cruel treatment of cattle in both of these facilities is systemic and routine...,” Lisa Chalk, Animals Australia communications director, said in a statement.


Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

Updated 18 June 2018
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Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

  • The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site
  • “Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes on Monday conducted strikes against nine Hamas “military targets” in the northern Gaza Strip in response to incendiary kites being sent into Israeli territory, the army said.
The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site, the military said in a statement, without specifying whether the raids had resulted in casualties.
“Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months.
The Israeli army on Saturday wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attempting to launch incendiary balloons across the border into Israel, officials said.
Since major border protests broke out at the end of March, more than 300 fires have devastated several thousand hectares of fields and shrubland, the Israeli fire service has said.
According to Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, 400 kites have been intercepted from some 600 launched since the start of the recent protests.
At least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the same time span. No Israelis have been killed.
Palestinians are calling to return to the homes their families fled or were forced from in 1948 during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas which Israel considers its chief enemy.
The two sides have fought three wars since 2008 and observe a tense cease-fire.