WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC ANIMAL CRUELTY
AUSTRALIAN cattle producers are at risk of an international backlash on live exports, because of cruel practices by some of their overseas customers, according to Queensland Senator Glen Lazarus.
Sen Lazarus called on the Federal Government to establish an independent animal welfare office immediately.
"I watched the Animals Australia footage of Australian cattle being sledge hammered to death in Vietnam and was sickened to the core," he said.
"We must not allow this cruelty to continue. The exporters involved must have their export permits suspended immediately, no ifs or buts.
"As Australians selling our cattle to the world, we have an obligation to ensure our animals are being treated humanely.
"Graziers do not want to see their cattle subjected to animal cruelty.
"This type of cruelty is damaging to our country, our live cattle export industry and our international reputation," he said.
"We cannot afford for this issue to damage our live export industry.
"Many graziers rely on this industry as their sole source of income.
"The federal Agriculture Department is responsible for marketing Australia's live export sector, issuing export permits and regulating our industry.
"This is an impossible conflict of interest.
"The department is not supposed to issue permits to export companies unless they are satisfied that our animals will be treated in accordance with regulations.
"Australians do not want our live cattle abused to prop up sweat shop slaughter houses."
He says Australians would rather see the processing happen here, creating jobs, with auditing to maintain the reputation of the live export industry.