The effects of the revolution in Iran have reached the Australian meat industry. Australia sends?
GV AND PAN INTERIOR: sheep carcasses moving round on chain in slaughterhouse.
SV AND ZOOM IN: Mohammed Isfa and another man working on carcasses.
SV ZOOM INTO CU: Mohammed on chain slitting sheep's throats with knives (2 shots)
CU's: Mohammed slitting sheep's throats. (2 shots)
SV: Sheep strung up on hooks, still showing some movement after throats cut
SV AND SCU: Mohammed receiving more sheep for killing from another worker on the chain.
SV AND PAN: sheep dangling whole from chains
CU EXTERIOR: Mohammed talking about his work.
CU ZOOM OUT TO SV: carcasses being stamped with special seal (4 shots)
REPORTER: "If Iran's very strict and very devout Ayatollah Khomeini inspected Sydney's Homebush abattoir today, would he approve of the way things are done? It's more than unlikely, of course, that the prophet would come to this particular mountain, but it's hard fact that if the Ayatollah is not convinced that Australian sheep are slaughtered according to Moslem rites, then our one-million-dollar export trade to Iran will go down the drain......"If the Australian mutton trade is preserved, it will be with the help of men like Mohammed Isfa (phonetic). A Moslem from fiji, Mohammed Isfa is a slaughterman, approved by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. Because he is a believer, and because he kills according to the laws of Islam, the mutton that Mohammed handles will be said to be 'halal', permissable, according to the Koran. Men who can render Australian meat acceptable to the Moslem market of the Middle East are very important..."There is no elaborate costume, and no exotic rites. To the casual observer, there is no difference between the way Mohammed kills, and the way it is usually done here. Much of that difference is in fact spiritual. Silently, in his mind, each time he kills, he prays. According to the Koran, a Moslem must kill only in the name of God. Mohammed's prayer expiates the sin of killing and blesses the meat in the name of Allah Akbah, Allah the Great."
MOHAMMED: "While I am killing the sheep, I have to say this prayer:..(Moslem prayer)... that means in English I am killing this animal in the name of Allah, who is the greatest'.
REPORTER: "Why do you have to say that? What's the significance of that?"
MOHAMMED: Well that's what we call is 'halal'. That's the prayer for them."
REPORTER: "And when you've done that, then that meat is fit to be eaten by any Moslem?"
MOHAMMED:"By any Moslem, yes."
REPORTER: "Is there anything special about you, apart from the fact that you're a Moslem, that allows you to do this?"
MOHAMMED: "No, there is not anything, apart from being a Moslem."
REPORTER: "To prove that the meat has in fact been slaughtered according to Moslem law, the carcass receives a stamp a seal of approval from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. According to the federation, neither the Australian people, nor the government can convince the Ayatollah - or any other Moslem government - that meat is 'halal'. That can only be done by Moslem authorities in Australia. Only the word of a Moslem is good enough."
REPORTER: CHARLES WOOLEY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The effects of the revolution in Iran have reached the Australian meat industry. Australia sends mutton worth up to one hundred million dollars (Australian) to Iran each year - but that trade has been jeopardised by the new Iranian government's strict and literal interpretation of the Koran. For much of the exported meat can now be seen as spiritually unclean - unless given the seal of approval of a formal Islamic organisation. Charles Wooley of the Australian Broadcasting Commission reports....