In Reaction to Australian ban on cattle export to Indonesia due to cruelty done to cows by muslim slaughterhouses, the Ulema’s Council is pleading for stunning guns!! The operator of one of the Indonesian slaughterhouses where Australian cattle have been mistreated is quick to apologise and willing to admit what happened is ”cruel”.
Asked to spell out why the brutality occurred at the Gondrong abattoir outside Jakarta, Muhammad Nur Hendri struggles. ”It’s about culture but I don’t know how to explain,” he says.
Pressed further, Mr Muhammad is unwilling to elucidate, although Johny Liano, the head of Indonesia’s meat industry association, gets to the nub of the issue.
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He says that Indonesian abattoir workers often focus on the Islamic halal regulation that an animal must be killed with a slit to the throat that lets the blood run out. ”They forget that halal includes not making the animal stressful,” he says.
The Gondrong abattoir is where cattle were filmed writhing and slapping their heads hard on the concrete floor as workers struggle to control them, not least because they were spraying them with water, which made the beasts more agitated.
The cows bellowed as they were manhandled, clearly highly distressed as workers hacked them inexpertly with knives.
Another senior Indonesian meat industry figure, Thomas Sembiring, said Indonesians had a long history of slaughtering animals at their homes, mosques and villages, trussing them up and then slitting their throats.
”It’s been going for centuries like this,” he said, adding such techniques could be used in abattoirs by poorly trained workers. ”Australian cows are much bigger than ours. It is not easy to tie up their legs and pull them down.”
The country’s top religious authority, the Ulemas Council (MUI), has condemned the abuse of cattle as sinful, saying it must stop immediately. The Ministry for Agriculture said it would send inspectors to all slaughterhouses and ”punish mistreatment”.
But in Indonesia there is often a gap between what authorities say should happen and what actually occurs. There are strict regulations governing the slaughter of animals that protect their welfare, but there are no penalties for breaches.
The MUI also endorses the use of stun guns that render an animal unconscious before it is killed, judging the technique to be halal. But industry figures say there can be resistance towards using them. Moreover, it is difficult for stun guns to be imported because Indonesia considers them a lethal weapon.
Less than a dozen abattoirs use them and some of these newer facilities are poorly located and under-used.
Mr Muhammad said he understood why his abattoir and others were being blacklisted by Australia, even if it made ”many Indonesians jobless”.
”As an Indonesian, I’d like to express my apology for what happened,” he said, adding that the Gondrong abattoir was being shut. A new facility would open nearby in a month, where stun guns supplied by Meat and Livestock Australia would be used.
”It is a very good thing because [stun guns] reduce the element of torture endured by the cows,” Mr Muhammad said. ”It takes time to change the culture from what it is now to a culture advanced countries want us to be.”

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