Live export pressure over cattle slaughter

Footage has emerged of Australian cattle being brutally slaughtered during a festival in Indonesia.
Footage has emerged of Australian cattle being brutally slaughtered during a festival in Indonesia.

Australian live animal exports are under pressure again after footage emerged of cattle being brutally slaughtered during an Islamic festival in Indonesia.

Agriculture department officials are investigating how the Australian animals ended up being killed in a car park in northern Sumatra last month.

Livestock Exporters Council chief executive Mark Harvey-Sutton said his members were also trying to determine how the cattle left the supply chain.

The latest controversy comes as federal parliament prepares to pass laws reinstating a permanent independent inspector-general to police the controversial trade.

The Morrison government decided to reinstate the inspector-general after the trade was rocked last year by shocking footage of sheep dying in sweltering conditions on a voyage to the Middle East.

Mr Harvey-Sutton said the treatment of the Australian cattle in Indonesia was unacceptable and immediate action was required.

"Situations like this are extremely rare when you put it in the context of 600,000 animals being exported to that market each year," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"That doesn't excuse it, but I think we do need to put it in context."

The Department of Agriculture remains tight-lipped on its inquiries.

"It is not appropriate for the department to provide comment on ongoing investigations," a spokesman told AAP.

"The department encourages the reporting of suspected breaches regardless of their origin."

Australian Associated Press