A Perth livestock exporter has sent an investigator to Indonesia to check whether cattle shown being badly mistreated in new footage released by animal activist groups came from WA.
International Livestock Exports, one of the country's biggest live cattle exporters, confirmed yesterday it had started an internal investigation into whether there had been a "breach" of its Indonesian supply chain.
Activist group Animals Australia released video on Tuesday of cattle being abused and tortured before being killed in two Indonesian abattoirs in January.
Animals Australia is the same group that released footage of Australian cattle being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs last year.
That footage prompted the Government to force a snap shutdown of the live trade to Indonesia for a month - a move that infuriated rural communities, strained diplomatic ties with Jakarta and caused ructions inside the Labor Party.
ILE chief executive Mike Stanton said he did not believe his company sold cattle to the two abattoirs shown in the latest footage, but did sell cattle into the general area where the abuse was filmed.
"We are investigating the whole thing," Mr Stanton said.
He was aware of claims that the video showed the cattle had ear tags with the ILE brand. Under rules the Gillard Government brought in after the freeze on cattle exports, a company can lose its export licence if it is shown it has not carried out proper due diligence on the slaughterhouses it sells to.
Mr Stanton said his company did everything it could to safeguard the integrity of its supply chain but admitted there were still flaws in the system.
Several Labor MPs lashed out at Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig over his handling of the issue, saying he had botched it.
In a string of interviews yesterday, Mr Ludwig was unable to explain why this latest abuse was not detected by the Agriculture Department under its new monitoring regime.
Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA president Rob Gillam described the Animals Australia footage as "misleading" and said it was a beat-up on the Australian live export industry.
RSPCA chief scientist Dr Bidda Jones said the latest footage appeared to show at least 46 potential breaches of the Government's new code for treatment.
Gascoyne cattle producer Lachlan McTaggart said the local live export industry was disappointed about the new footage and it had the potential to devastate the entire sector, similar to last year.