**WARNING THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS DISTURBING CONTENT
ANIMALS Australia have released disturbing footage which the organisation claims depicts Australian livestock being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer in a Vietnamese abattoir.
The ABC reports the Federal Government launched an investigation into the apparent breach of live export regulations after they were shown the footage last week.
Deputy Prime Minister Baraby Joyce has reportedly already ruled out a live export ban.
"Immediately when we found out about this we went straight into action," he told the ABC
"The Department [of Agriculture] has been working closely with the industry, the abattoir has been suspended from receiving cattle, we are investigating this process but further action needs to take place and will take place."
That move quickly drew the ire of Animals Australia's Chief Investigator, Lyn White.
"Under Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce's watch, thousands of Australian cattle exported to Vietnam continue to be exposed to brutal sledgehammering and painful water-forcing practices," MsWhite said.
"Nobody can claim they didn't know this was happening - the exporters knew, the Department knew and the Minister knew.
"Now tonight, Australians have been shown that the current system does not work and will continue to fail as long as the Department of Agriculture turns a blind eye to what is in effect 'organised crime'. All export companies are aware of what is going on in Vietnam and yet remain silent to protect their interests.
"Some exporters think they are above the law - and they have good reason to - as regardless of what they do, they know that Barnaby Joyce and his Department will have their back.
"The terror and trauma experienced by Australian cattle being sledgehammered is devastating. That this horrific practice continues to be inflicted on Australian animals three years after the government was first provided with evidence of this occurring is shameful.
"The clear evidence of corruption of traceability systems in Vietnam being ignored by the Department of Agriculture and CCTV failing to protect animals from abuse, reinforce the desperate need for live export regulation to be moved to an independent body."
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