The Australian live animal export market makes a lot of money, but cannot be condoned, since refrigeration has existed since the late 1800s.
Government authorities have been investigating reports of the sickening slaughter method since March, but Animals Australia said yesterday it was the first time photographic evidence had been made public.
Video obtained by the animal welfare group shows handlers in a Vietnamese abattoir repeatedly striking beef cattle over the head with a sledgehammer to subdue and kill them.
The hidden camera vision was captured late last month in a facility in northern Vietnam.
Animals Australia spokeswoman Lisa Chalk said Vietnam was currently the second-largest export market for Australian cattle, with 178,000 animals exported there in 2014.
“The industry has called what is happening in Vietnam ‘growing pains’,” Ms Chalk said.
“Most people would disagree. It’s horrific and preventable suffering.”
Animals Australia, the organisation which earlier this year helped expose the cruel practice of live-baiting within the greyhound industry, said video showing the sledgehammer slaughters was “so shocking and distressing that a decision has been taken to not publicly release it at this time.”