11.07.2012 Shane Guthrie
The government response, released yesterday, to the Senate Inquiry into Animal Welfare Standards in Live Export will not appease public concerns about the live export trade, said MLC Lynn MacLaren, Greens spokesperson on animal welfare.
“The Federal Government has knocked back workable reforms to deal with cruelty to animals. The government rejected the Greens’ recommendations to ban live exports of animals for slaughter and to make pre-slaughter stunning mandatory.
“The government is putting too much faith in industry to do the government’s job. Palming off oversight to industry, rather than giving the power to the Chief Veterinary Officer, is a setback for animal welfare, said Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon in reply to the Government response.
“The evidence is clear that abuses against animals in Indonesian slaughterhouses were not due to individual failure or cultural differences, but instead were directly the result of systemic regulatory problems within the industry, Ms MacLaren said.
“All the evidence shows us that industry does not have the capacity to self-regulate. The welfare of animals cannot be left in the hands of industry.
“Beef slaughterhouses in Indonesia rely on unskilled workers. There is no indication that they can make the necessary improvements. Live exports must end.
“Indeed, the writing has been on the wall for a long time. Governments, state and federal, should have been helping farmers with a transition to more viable products and markets.
“Agribusiness Valuations Australia boss Sam Paton has said farms are too reliant on live exports to Indonesia. A report by Meat and Livestock Australia found average debt per unit of livestock had doubled in a decade and returns on assets had crashed to less than 2 per cent. Where’s the viability in that?
“In early 2009, the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture, Anton Apriantono announced a 2014 deadline for local beef self-sufficiency.
“Indonesia’s commitment to a self-sufficiency target has led the Indonesian government to set the maximum weight of imported live cattle at 350 kilograms, in order to facilitate value adding. Then farmers complained they had cattle too heavy for this shrinking market.
“Despite Senator Ludwig’s recent confidence that the live export trade will not diminish as further investment is made in developing Indonesia’s cattle herd, the market abroad has been changing for a long time.
“Thousands of jobs could be created by shifting to process more meat in Australia.”
Keep Talking Is Back Bigger and Better in 2012
With a fantastic line up of speakers and live entertainment, courtesy of Fabienne of Triple J unearthed and beautiful food, there is no better way to spend an afternoon.
Confirmed Speakers include:
Lyn White - Campaign Director, Animals Australia
Dawn Lowe - Australian Representative of Animals' Angels
Dana Campbell - CEO, Voiceless. MC
Kris Farley - Live Export of Greyhounds
Sue Foster - Vets Against Live Exports (VALE)
All proceeds go to Stop Live Exports, Animals Australia and Voiceless.
It is over a year since Four Corners, 'A Bloody Business' was aired on the ABC.
This award winning documentary investigated claims of horrific abuse of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. After the public outrage, (at a level never before witnessed in Australia) Animals Australia and the RSPCA joined forces and as part of its campaign, named five steers - Arthur, Brian, Bill, Dudley and Tommy. You can view their details and stories here: http://www.banliveexport.com/1/#downloadFactsheets
According to Craig Emerson, the Federal Minister For Trade and Competitiveness, the ethical treatment of animals makes sound economic sense and is good for business. Animal Welfare
We ask that you write to the Minister and encourage him to take his new found wisdom and bring about the legislative changes which will ban live exports once and for all.
You can email the Minister at Craig Emerson email contact
Another example of the wonderful work undertaken by Stop Live Exports supporters! An unplanned, spontaneous call for a flash protest in Victoria Quay, Fremantle to coincide with the loading of sheep and cattle onto the Bader III, resulted in a turnout of 30 protesters and a small boat!
The community of Fremantle will continue to draw attention to the fact that 80% of Australia's sheep exports leave its port every year and will persist in protesting about the inherent cruelty in the live export trade. Fremantle residents see, and smell, first hand the suffering and misery of this cruel and indefensible trade and want to see it phased out as quickly as possible and replaced with a chilled and frozen meat trade.
Stop Live Exports, in conjunction with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), organised a Human Chain across the Stirling Bridge in Fremantle on Sunday 13th November.
We estimate that about 350 wonderful supporters turned up, enough to almost straddle the bridge. Everyone wore black and an A4 sign around their necks that stated: “I am a ………… opposed to live exports”. The blank space was filled in as appropriate for each individual e.g. I am a teacher/vet/student/meat-eater/mother etc. The best sign was that of a young man that said "I am a student who should be studying for my WACE exams opposed to live exports". We admire his commitment to our cause and we certainly hope that he does well in his exams!
The line of people stood in silence and linked hands to show their opposition to the live trade. The event drew a lot of media attention - see the PerthNow footage here. Many people going by in vehicles on the bridge also hooted to show their support and even the river police sounded their siren and gave the thumbs up! It was a brilliant way to demonstrate that people from all walks of life want to see a cessation to the live export trade.
WSPA will use footage and photos from the event in their Humane Chain campaign that is drumming up support for the phasing out of live exports in the run up to the national Labor Conference which is being held on 2nd and 3rd December.
Well done to everyone that turned up and made it such a special event.
At the WA Labor Conference in July 2011, a momentous Animal Welfare motion introduced by Lisa Baker Member for Maylands was passed. The section covering live exports reads as follows:
On Live Export:
64. Labor recognises that:
a) There are strong economic, job and animal welfare reasons for transitioning from the live export trade to domestic processing of animals for local consumption and the chilled and frozen meat trade.
b) While the live export trade continues, livestock for slaughter from Australia will be treated humanely while being transported and in the country of destination.
65. To this end, Labor will:
a) Require that livestock be transported, unloaded, held and slaughtered in accordance with OIE Guidelines and stunned using appropriate humane restraints immediately before slaughter, and that there will be independent monitoring and enforcement of these standards.
b) Ensure adequate transitional arrangements are in place to facilitate the expansion of a chilled and frozen meat trade.
c) Develop and implement an alternative and sustainable economic base for the pastoral industry in the north of Western Australia.
d) Work with the Commonwealth government, industry and importing countries to promote the trade in chilled meat from animals humanely transported and slaughtered in Australia.
e) Pursue, as part of trade negotiations, the elimination of policies of foreign governments, such as subsidies and tariffs, which distort competitive neutrality between the meat processing and the live export industries.
f) Promote Australian chilled and frozen meat in potential new markets through intensive international promotional campaigns, such as the emerging markets in China.
WA animal lovers need to vote for Labor in the next state election to help make this motion a reality!
Photograph courtesy of Katrina Love.
EthicalJobs.com.au donates $4,000 to four small community organisations every 3 months - the idea is to support small organisations doing great work for a more sustainable, just world. And they've chosen Stop Live Exports as one of the four organisations to donate to for the next three months.
They ask their website users to help make the decision by letting them vote in a poll on how the donation is split between the organisations that have been chosen. (If you visit the homepage on www.EthicalJobs.com.au you can find the donation poll in the bottom left corner).
The more Stop Live Exports supporters that visit the site and vote for us, the larger the donation to us is. Each vote on the poll at EthicalJobs.com.au increases the proportion of the $4,000 that will come to us at the end of November.
It would be great if you could let your wider networks know about the poll, so they can vote for us too.
All during Saturday night the rain fell in sheets and at 7.00am on the Esplanade reserve in Fremantle on Sunday, the weather didn’t look any more promising. My trusty team of SLE volunteers battled on regardless and by 11.30am we were ready to go and like a sign from above, the sun came out! And the people came, a trickle at first and then in ever increasing waves, placards held high. It’s hard to gauge crowd numbers at a glance but we estimate that the final turnout was in excess of 1,500!
We started at noon with some great music from Dilip and the Davs followed by passionate and rousing speeches from Lisa Baker MLA, Member for Maylands, Senator Rachel Siewert, Chris Tallentire, MLA Member for Gosnells, Lyn MacLaren MLC Member for the South Metropolitan Region and Lyn Bradshaw, National and State President of the RSPCA. Lyn White’s speech was also played over the airwaves during which you could have heard a pin drop and there wasn’t a dry eye on the Esplanade reserve.
The spirit of the day was amazing – happy, friendly, supportive and caring. Children planted their wishes in the Wish Garden and coloured in pictures of lambs and cows. Levy the sheep put in an appearance, as did a beautiful calf called Daisy, a goat and dogs of all shapes and sizes. There were babies and pensioners, bankers and teachers – just ordinary Australians from all walks of life coming together to speak out for those that cannot.
As you may have heard, two Bills are about to go before Federal Parliament next week. One is being presented by Greens Senator, Rachel Siewert and the other by Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie.
Please contact your Federal MP and Federal Senator and ask them to support these Bills.
You can do this via a letter, phone call or email, although a personal letter is often the best if you have a spare few minutes.
You can send an automated letter via the Animals Australia website
Or you can send a general letter asking for an end to the trade via WSPA's Humane Chain website.
To find out who your Lower House MP is, click here
To find out who your Senator is, click here
If you arent sure which Federal electorate you are in, please click here to go to the Australian Electoral Commission search
It would be very worthwhile to contact your State MP in WA, please click here for more information
Let Julia Gillard know that you think this treatment of Australian animals is completely unacceptable and you want the see the trade in live animals end to not only support animal welfare, but local jobs in meat processing facilities around Australia. The most powerful way to be heard is an individually written letter. The PM's contact details are:
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Send an instant message to the PM here
For more info on what the Australasian Meat Workers have to say, click here
Please use Twitter (#BanLiveExport) and Facebook to get the message out there to all your friends and family.
Check out more details on the National Week of Action. You can also download a letter on this page and ask family, friends, neighbours and workmates to sign - or you can take to the streets!
You can help keep the campaign in alive in WA by becoming a member of Stop Live Exports, a grass-roots group that has been campaigning for an end to this trade for many years! We have a huge volunteer base that is getting the message out to the community, media and politicians. Click here to join. A good strong membership sends a message to decision makers that this is an important issue.If you would like further updates, please subscribe to our e-news by clicking here
PS. Some of you have asked about the rally against live exports. This is not being organised by Stop Live Exports.
Please direct all enquries to this website.
As many of you know, I’ve been working toward an end to live exports since 1995. As founding President of PACAT I was supported in my activism by both the Democrats and the Greens. Eventually I joined the Greens and now serve as a Member of Parliament in Western Australia. I urge you to continue to call for a complete ban of the exportation of live animals for slaughter. The Greens have introduced a bill to do just that. If you support it, let others know about this bill and why not let the Greens in the Senate and Adam Bandt know you support it at the same time that you ask Julia Gillard or your federal member of Parliament to ban the trade.
Australia has exported live animals for decades. 26 years ago a senate inquiry carefully investigated the trade and determined it could not be conducted humanely. Since that time old rust bucket converted car carriers have been replaced by state of the art multiple million dollar purpose built ships that deliver our animals into horrific conditions abroad. The breeds and weight of animals permitted for export have been restricted to those who stand the best chance of survival. Still 30,000 sheep died enroute last year and over a thousand cattle. While these mortalities are reported (without independent verification) suffering during loading, unloading and transportation is not measured by statistics. Over the years ships have sunk due to mechanical breakdowns and storms, ventilation systems have failed, thousands have been stranded in foreign ports due to suspected disease, wars and political friction. We have evidence of cruelty at every stage. There is only one solution: don't export live animals for slaughter overseas.
If farmers need compensation, it should come from the MLA fund. The government and industry bodies permitted this trade to continue though they knew about the unacceptable conditions. To the farmers who weren't fooled into thinking that this trade was humane, I congratulate you for your choice not to export live animals for slaughter. You should be commended and respected for your stance.
If you were shocked along with the rest of Australia regarding the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia, this is your time to get involved. We have outlined some easy things you can do. Our Campaign Manager is standing by to help, so please feel free to contact Jodie on firstname.lastname@example.org
Let Julia Gillard know that you think this treatment of Australian animals is completely unacceptable and you want the see the trade in cattle to Indonesia suspended immediately along with an overall end date to live animal exports. The most powerful way to be heard is an individually written letter. Please feel free to ask for help with this. The PM's contact details are:
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Send an instant message to the PM here
Please also contact your State and Federal MP!
If you live in WA, contact your State MP. You can find a listing of MP contact details here.
You can find a listing of Federal MP contact details here
In your letter, to avoid a standard response that is generated by a computer, be sure to ask specific questions. Questions could include asking about Government spending on live exports, how they could possibly trust anything the industry says and what is being done about local jobs. Please ask us for help.
Please use Twitter (#BanLiveExport) and Facebook to get the message out there to all your friends and family.
Check out the dedicated website put together by Animals Australia and RSPCA here
You can help keep the campaign in alive in WA by becoming a member of Stop Live Exports, a grass-roots group that has been campaigning for an end to this trade for many years! We have a huge volunteer base that is getting the message out to the community, media and politicians. Click here to join. A good strong membership sends a message to decision makers that this is an important issue.
If you missed Four Corners, it will be replayed on Tuesday 31st May ay 11.35pm and Saturday 4th June at 8pm on ABC News 24. You can also see a replay at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/
What is your occupation
I’m a marketing manager at Murdoch University, working in the Research & Development area
Why did you choose to get involved with the live export issue?
When I moved to Fremantle recently, the issue of live exports was thrust into my conscientious. I have to drive to Murdoch along the Leach Highway and so get to see firsthand the sad sight of animals packed into trucks (and I do mean packed and often in very heated conditions) being taken to the harbour. I hate the sight of those trucks and seeing one really spoils my day. The local Fremantle people complain about the smell of the animals when the ships are in but I’m glad that people have a constant reminder of the suffering of these poor animals.
Do your family get involved as well?
I dragged my husband along to a Stop Live Exports public meeting recently and I was amazed and pleased at how vocal and emotional he became about the issue. My daughter also helps with raising awareness about the cause amongst her friends and she will also be performing at the fundraiser at the Fly by Night (see more below)
Why do you think others should get involved?
I’ve met very few people who think that this trade is right. Many people express their abhorrence of the trade but don’t know what they can do to get it stopped. Many people also can’t confront the suffering and so turn away from it. Getting involved with Stop Live Exports means that you can start to do something positive – every signature on a petition, every cent collected, every politician lobbied are all steps in the right direction.
What are you working on with Stop Live Exports right now?
A couple of us are organising a fundraiser at the Fly by Night in Fremantle on the evening of Sunday 18th September. We’ve secured some fantastic musical talent with the Sneaky Weasel Gang and Lightening Jack and performances from the Vintage Reds vaudeville duo and others. There will also be raffles and prizes and EcoFairies - it’s going to be a wonderful party and everyone who reads this must come along and join in the fun.
What other causes do you support?
RSPCA, WSPA – anything that prevents animal suffering.
Whom do you most admire
Nelson Mandela, for his capacity to forgive and lead a nation away from recrimination and blame. I spent my childhood in South Africa so understand how different things might have been if it were not for President Mandela.
What is your favourite food?
A favourite meal would be crusty bread straight from the oven, a selection of European cheeses, lots of salads, avocado and asparagus and lashings of French Champagne!