Chorus of condemnation as horrifying abottoir footage emerges

HORRIFYING footage appearing to show Australian livestock being tortured and killed in an Egyptian abattoir has prompted a Federal investigation and a chorus of condemnation.

Representatives from Animals Australia purportedly filmed the cruelty, which it then supplied to the Federal Department of Agriculture.

The Australian Livestock Exporters' Council chief executive Alison Penfold said her industry was "shocked and deeply distressed" by the footage.

"I feel distraught. These acts are horrific," Ms Penfold said.

"No-one in our industry, and no Australian, accepts such treatment of animals and I believe the Egyptian authorities will not tolerate this."

She said the footage - which shows a "vicious, cruel and clumsy" slaughter of an injured animal alongside other poor slaughter practises - drove the industry to voluntarily halt any current exports to India.

It is understood to have come from two Egyptian-owned abattoirs, one filmed in October and the filmed in April this year.

"The welfare of the remaining 3000 remaining Australian cattle held in these facilities is our highest priority."

Animals Australia described the live export industry as being "in damage control",

A new campaign calling for a ban of all live exports would be re-launched by the activist group this week.

In 2011, the Federal Government temporarily banned all live exports after footage was released showing animals being horribly treated in Indonesia.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said the latest footage was "sickening".

He said an investigation began on Wednesday when the Department received the footage.

"What we've done immediately following that is contact our ambassador and the embassy in Egypt to advise them of these circumstances and start the investigative work," he said.

"The Egyptian authorities, as I understand it, have also joined with us in a cooperative way to investigate these matters immediately."

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