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Indonesian importer commits to CCTV in all abattoirs

James Nason, 05/03/2012

The Indonesian importer identified as the owner of an Australian steer involved in footage of mistreatment in an Indonesian abattoir says it will now install closed-circuit television cameras in every plant it supplies.

Lampung-based Great Giant Livestock is one of the largest importers and lot feeders of Australian cattle in Indonesia.

A company spokesperson told Beef Central over the weekend that the company was now actively moving to step up its supply chain controls after footage broadcast on ABC television last week revealed unacceptable practices in an abattoir it supplies.

The spokesperson said the company halted supply of cattle to the Temur Petik abattoir in Jakarta last Monday when it learned that an Australian steer involved in footage from undercover investigators was one of its own.

The footage is currently being investigated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Great Giant Livestock was also conducting its own internal investigation, the spokesperson said.

However, regardless of that outcome, the company was now taking further steps to prevent mistreatment from occurring in its supply chains in future.

It was showing the footage of mistreatment to every member of its supply chain in Indonesia, the spokesperson said, with the warning that any further case of mistreatment would result in the immediate termination of supply to the abattoir involved.

It has also made the decision to install CCTV in every abattoir it supplies, to ensure livestock handling practices can be monitored within each plant on a continual basis in future.

Plans and budget expenditure had already been approved by management, the spokesperson said, and the technology was now in the process of being rolled out.

The introduction of round-the-clock monitoring and video recording would also allow the company to independently corroborate any new footage taken by animal rights groups in future.

“I think that once we make the move, others may too,” the spokesperson said.

The video monitoring systems will be included in the company’s ESCAS auditing process.

Animal rights groups have been calling for CCTV to be introduced in abattoirs both in Australia and Indonesia following recent cases of documented mistreatment in plants in both countries.

One of the issues at the centre of Great Giant Livestock’s own investigation relates to an apparent discrepancy between the timing of the footage and the slaughter date of the animal.

Animals Australia has stated the footage was filmed in Jakarta in late January.

However the company’s records of the animal involved, identified from the visible number on its ear tag shown in the video, indicate that the animal carrying that tag was not slaughtered until late February.

The spokesperson said the company was trying to establish the reasons for the apparent discrepancy.

“The discrepancy in dates may be just human error, but CCTV will correct that scenario.”

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