Wednesday, June 01, 2011


The images on 4 Corners last night were very confronting, but it is hard not to feel for the cattle industry.

Live cattle are exported to Indonesia both because the Indonesians insist on Halal butchery, and because the Indonesians cannot accept frozen or refrigerated meat as they have no refrigeration.

The show showed conditions in reverse order. What used to be the only way to slaughter cattle in Indonesia was what was shown last. Cattle being tied and beaten till they would lie in such a way as to be able to have their throats cut. What looks like the very cruel Australian Meat and Livestock box is in fact humane compared to this, if done properly.

What is more interesting is that the whole idea of Halal butchery, the death by one clean stroke, is that the animal is not meant to be tortured before death. But I guess the technique was designed with goats and sheep, not Australian beef cattle.

How do you justify a stunner for an abbatoir that kills four beasts a day?

In all the discussions of frzen or refrigerated meat the option of "cryo-packed" meat seems to be ignored. While we keep this refrigerated it actually doesn't need to be - meat in a sealed bag devoid of oxygen does not go "off".

The Muslims of Indonesia will trust Australian Halal slaughter. Can we just find a way to package it?

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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