On Saturday, June 18, between 12.00 and 2.00p.m., tens of thousands of Australians in all capital cities and dozens of regional centres joined together to demand a full and permanent ban on all live animal exports to any overseas destination.
The Four Corners TV report on the export of live cattle to Indonesia had sent shockwaves across Australia.
The joint Animals Australia/RSPCA Australia campaign can be viewed at BanLiveExport.com
Their campaign partner GetUp! has a petition against live exports which now stands at over 200,000 signatures achieved in a few days.
The unspeakably cruel treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia – filmed in 11 slaughterhouses – was the talking point throughout Australia and the halls of Parliament House since Four Corners aired.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said the government had failed to appreciate the massive public reaction to last week’s ABC Four Corners program, saying his office had received more than 1000 emails and phone calls and fellow Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie had received a similar number.
They – and separately the Australian Greens (via Adam Bandt) – will be submitting several bills to ban live animal export to federal Parliament on 20th June.
To give these bills the best chance possible of being passed Animals Australia is encouraging all their supporters to join in a National Week of Action, placing pressure on local federal MPs and Senators across Australia to support this draft legislation to ban live export.
Meatworkers – that is to say, slaughtermen – and the newly-formed Animal Justice Party are united on wanting to ban live animal exports.
The Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union has backed an export ban, thinking it would create thousands of jobs in regional Australia.
You can view the full announcement by following this link:
Update on June 6:
The mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council, Brad Carter, which is the “beef capital” of Australia has demanded an end to live exports.
He said: “These animals deserve to be treated humanely, we should be processing meat in Australian abattoirs not internationally.
“I understand that by banning live animal exports that there will be a short term impact to the industry, but these animals deserve to be treated with dignity and processed using stringent practices.
“I believe that manufacturing jobs should be retained in Australia – we should be exporting meat not jobs.”
Mark Textor, founder of the campaign consultants Crosby|Textor reports that, along with Animals Australia and the RSPCA, the main Australian veterinary body, the Australian Veterinary Association, has called for an immediate halt to live exports to Indonesia.
Though the MLA has complained about oversupply following any halt of live cattle exports, Animals Australia has had confirmation from one of the country’s major meat processors that they can slaughter in Australia cattle previously destined for Indonesia.
On June 8, Lyn White of Animals Australia, who carried out the investigation in the slaughterhouses, writes:
For thousands of cattle in Australia’s top end, today is a day worth celebrating. After eight days of intense campaigning and public pressure following exposure of the horrendous animal cruelty, the Gillard Government has announced a suspension on the live cattle trade to Indonesia.
I cannot express in words my relief to know that, at least for now, animals will be spared from what I witnessed during Animals Australia’s most recent live export investigation in Indonesia. This is a huge step towards an end to the cruelty inflicted on all animals in the live export trade — but our campaign is not over yet…
The announcement of the suspension on the live cattle trade to Indonesia is a welcome step, however, the weight of evidence from Animals Australia’s eight investigations confirms that only a complete ban on live animal exports to all countries will ensure that these images are not repeated. Such a move would also send the strongest possible message to other countries that animals, and their welfare, matter.
We will continue to campaign rigorously for millions more animals who are destined to be shipped to slaughter in countries where there are no laws to protect them from cruelty.
Please visit www.animalsaustralia.org for
QCA says: We have written not only to the Australian authorities, in Australia and London, but also to the Indonesian President, other Ministers and written and phoned their Ambassador in London.
NEW ZEALAND Agriculture Minister David Carter said NZ would not under any circumstances send live cattle to Indonesia.
Indonesia imports about 500,000 head of cattle a year from Australia, and that demand will now need to be met through processed meat imports or live imports from elsewhere.
“The footage is horrific, and that is why New Zealand has such a strong stance on animal welfare,” Mr Carter said.
NZ banned live exports in 2004 following outrage over the death of 5000 sheep on an Australian ship bound for Saudi Arabia…
Report from Tasmania on June 14:
The Hobart rally expects hundreds to attend, and speakers at the Hobart event on Parliament Lawns will be Kim Booth, Greens Spokesman for Primary Industries, Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison, Grant Courtney, State Secretary of the AMIEU(Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union) and veterinarian Dr Andrew Nicholson.
Tasmanian organiser Suzanne Cass said:
A temporary ban to Indonesia is simply empty rhetoric from the Gillard government, in the hope that the outrage felt by the Australian community following the ‘Four Corners’ program of two weeks ago will just go away. If the Australian community does not keep the pressure on, it will be ‘business as usual’ in no time. These rallies will show that we won’t go away, and we will hold this government accountable at the ballot box’.
Ms Cass believes that any plans to direct funds to ‘improve’ slaughterhouses in Indonesia would be better spent restoring abattoir infrastructure in Australia, and giving the 40,000 meat workers who lost their jobs as a result of this trade their livelihoods back. It would be cheaper to provide refrigeration infrastructure in these countries than to implement training programs that are useless and tracing systems that the animal advocacy movement says it knows are unworkable.
For a concise analysis of the issue please visit:
Early report on the rallies:
Waving placards that included “profit no excuse for cruelty“, people gathered on June 18 in Melbourne to protest Australia’s live animal export trade. Some 500 protesters, ranging from very young to the elderly, listened to speakers outside the state’s parliament decry Australia’s record on live exports – among whom were the leader of the Greens and Pam Ahern of the sanctuary Edgar’s Mission.
One protestor turned up with her dog to highlight the fact that dogs and cats are protected in Australia, while cows, sheep and goats sold to overseas abattoirs are not.
The rally was part of coordinated action nationwide. 1000 people protested in Sydney.
Two people who claimed to be representing farmers said a total ban on the trade was not the answer, even though nobody wanted a repeat of the cruelty to cows aired on TV recently.
QCA note: so what is the answer? How it is possible to ensure such cruelty does not happen in abattoirs overseas, where it seems that even traceability of the animals is not possible, is a moot point.
Please follow the link and view the Sky News video from Sydney:
All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?