GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Australian media reported on April 7 that Australian government authorities had decided to ban live cattle exports to Gaza after an investigation into footage showing calves being mistreated there. In December, Animals Australia posted several images and videos online of the brutal slaughter and ill-treatment of cattle in the streets of Gaza City. The group said some of the abused cattle were identifiable by plastic tags attached to their ears.
Muin Rajab, an economics professor at al-Azhar University in Gaza, said the Australian decision could lead to a real crisis in Gaza if other countries follow suit. Rajab told Al-Monitor that a decrease in supply in local markets would naturally result in a dramatic rise in prices. Tahsin al-Sakka, general director of marketing and crossings in the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture, disagreed, arguing that the Australian measure was of little significance because Gaza imports cattle from Israel, not directly from Australia. Sakka told Al-Monitor, “This decision does not concern us, but rather concerns Israel, which imports cattle from several locations, including Australia, South America and France.”