Four Corners puts live exports on the agenda

Four Corners would appear to have put a new issue on the government’s agenda after screening devastating footage of the slaughter of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs.

Sarah Ferguson’s report was horrific television with animals cruelly slaughtered.

The vision was traumatic, numbing stuff… No wonder the industry immediately suspended the supply of Australian cattle to Indonesia ahead of the programme airing.

Four Corners
also included damning criticism from US doctor of animal science Temple Grandin, who was the subject of an HBO biopic after revolutionising practices for the humane handling of livestock on cattle ranches.

The issue even spilled over into Q & A and on Twitter last night the subject was trending with many calling for the government to ban live exports:

BondiVet: That was the most confronting hour of tv I’ve ever seen. Things must change. #4corners

molluscan: Those poor animals, they were watching terrified as others were tortured and cut up in front of them #4corners

catsman09: i cant watch anymore of this #4corners this is sad

abbotsfordkitch: Disturbing stuff on #4corners. Hard to watch. But we need to know what goes on.

EmilyPecky: This is just heartbreaking #4corners #banliveexport

GoMarz72: Why has it been allowed to go on for so long? Where have you been? #RSPCA #banliveexport

AnthonyLoConte: #4corners you had me walk out of the lounge room.

RockBub11: Watched as much as I could of #4corners but couldn’t keep going. I think I just became vegetarian.

damo0010: Sick 2 my stomach over the footage on #4corners 2night. Denial is not an option in the face of such suffering. Stop the trade NOW!

JenesseNg: Agreed. Movement for change #LiveExport RT @BondiVet: That was the most confronting hour of tv I’ve ever seen. Things must change #4corners


  1. If Live Corp does not bow to pressure now, what will it take? This situation has gone on for far too long and now, when it’s in the public eye, everyone needs to react.

    Otherwise, soon, it will become yesterdays news. So sign the petition, write letters to newspapers and show the world that Aussies care and do not live in the stone age!

  2. Thanks for this story. The episode was about the most harrowing hour of viewing I’ve ever experienced. Well done Four Corners. Such outstanding journalism that has motivated me and many people I know to urgently support the end of the live export trade.

  3. i have signed the petition but i could not watch the story i would like to see the same thing that was inflicted on theese animals be inflicted on the scum who do it they should definatlly stop the exportation of live animals

  4. Four Corners deserves an award for this .
    Often difficult to watch, but our dirty little secret was finally exposed.
    The staff and crew at this brilliant program should be justifiably proud of what they’ve achieved.

  5. Really sad footage. Cows wondering what they done wrong to get such beatings and abuse, and others just totally fearing for their lives as they watched their fellow cows being killed.

    It is something to think about in Australia too. I’m sure not all animals would be killed kindly here. Surely there’d be times at some places with bored workers, trying to get an animal to do something and the animal wont do it, and then out would come the abuse because ‘its just a cow/pig, and it’s just gonna die anyway’.

  6. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but the thought of the cattle watching as others are tortured and slaughtered makes me sick. I’m sure cows have emotions and feelings and this stuff is just unacceptable. It sounds like the Holocaust where people had to watch as their loved ones were lead to their death.

  7. kate westwood

    The Gov. and the cattle industry have had 18 years and millions of tortured animals to get this right & still can’t get it right.You won’t change the mind set of these people.So much of our tax dollars have been spent to improve this situation,I protested on the live sheep export to middle east years ago and guess what we now have a bit of mulch on the floor of the boats to stop them slipping but they are still being tortured when they arrive.When this started years ago it was for the benefit of a few select persons and in return we destroyed our own industry putting thousands of people out of work slaughtermen,butchers,office workers,drivers,packaging companies etc.and also spelling the end to the only employment for a lot of areas.N.T. state they haven’t the facilities to process these cattle but we used to.I’m sure Japan would like some of our processed meat along with a lot of other countries.I went to bed last night with the vision of that poor cow shaking,eyes terrified as it was it’s fate how can this practise be part of a loving religion.Thank’s Four Corners& Lyn White for her courage & shame on Australia .

  8. *** Update***

    Federal Agriculture Minister Ludwig will enforce the complete suspension of live animal exports to Indonesia in the wake of the Four Corners exposé.

  9. Thank God we have ABC Television. This was horrifying and confronting to watch. It was a story that needed to be told. Thank you 4 Corners. I for one have already penned my letter of disgust and sent it to the Minister for Agriculture. I urge all of you to do the same. The export of live cattle must be stopped at once.

  10. I cried so much last night watching that story. Those poor animals. Some people should hang their heads in shame. This must stop now!

  11. Going to watch this on iView tonight… well, going to try anyway. Already signed the petition regardless—even without seeing the show yet—as it’s the right thing to do.

  12. The worst footage, for me, was the steer with the broken leg. The cruelty he was subjected is monstrous and illogical whether for religious, economic, or humanitarian reasons. It reduces efficiency of the abattoir (time spent per animal), it increases the suffering of the animal way beyond what’s necessary for religious reasons, and it demeans the human being involved.

  13. I love meat so it’s not a topic that I like to think about but watching them suffer like that was completely shocking and unacceptable.

    It was absolutely horrifying watching how they treated the some of those animals. Watching that cow visibly shaking as it watched other cows being slaughtered was heart wrenching. Seeing someone break a cow’s tail to make it walk when it already had a broken leg and then slapped around and had it’s nose pulled was shocking.

  14. Secret Squïrrel

    Absolutely horrifying vision. Where are your unthinking smart-ass comments now, Boganpride and Jezza?

    As far as I’m aware, Kaylen is correct when she states that LiveCorp have only suspended deliveries to the three(?) slaughterhouses featured in the graphic footage. There are likely many more in Indonesia where animals are routinely mistreated and all live export to those abattoirs should cease immediately.

    I’ve seen some extremely graphic stuff in my times but I decided not to watch all of the 4 Corners program as it was unpleasant and I felt I’d seen enough to be sufficiently informed. This is the sort of story that TT and ACA should be doing, not hounding out-of-work actors or promoting the latest bullsh!t “miracle” diet.

  15. FYI the BBC had a show on recently (on BBC Knowledge) called ‘kill it cook it eat it’ which followed different animals as they went from the farm yard to your plate, compelling viewing, it will be interesting how this stacks up.

    BTW it’s still being shown on BBC K, check your EPG.

  16. Unfortunately, the industry didn’t end export of live cattle to Indonesia. They ended it to, if I remember, 3 slaughterhouses over there.

    Currently we ship to over 100 slaughter houses, only 8 of which use the stun bolt. So minus the 3 that have been banned, that’s still around 90 slaughterhouses doing what was shown on 4corners.

    An excellent showing by 4corners – absolutely disgusting, and I don’t think I’ll ever get those images out of my head.

    My respect to the activists and reporters that investigated this, and saw so much more than what they could show on TV.

  17. 6.30 had this on last week… but they didn’t have the footage, because they said somebody already had it, the person of the video wouldn’t tell anyone… guess it was Four Corners! Good to see 6.30 shows intelligent stories like this trying to get in first rather than how to save on power bills and where to buy the cheapest plasma 😐

  18. No sensing person could sit through this revealing and horrifying program and not feel deeply disturbed.
    Please, if you have watched this program, write to Senator Joe Ludwig (Min. for Agriculture) and implore him to stop this barbaric treatment from happening – live export to these particular abbattoirs that insist on treating animals like this needs to be banned.
    It is important to note that Independents, Andrew WIlkie and Nick Xenophon are totally against this situation continuing. They have great power in Govt. to create changes. Include them in your letter.
    This atrocious situation must be stopped – please have your say where it really counts!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.