Dear Beagle Editor
I write to congratulate former Health Minister Sussan Ley on her recent public stand against the live export business This was on the back of Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources Minister, David Littleproud firmly ruling out a summer ban on the export of sheep, proposed by WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
According to the Financial Review, shutting down the live animal export trade would have ‘negligible’ impact on Australian farmers. When the nation's leading conservative economic journal; Australian Financial Review says there is little benefit to the Australian economy- surely it's time to stop!
The Meat Workers Union has worked tirelessly over the years to highlight this appalling trade which is of no benefit to the animals, to the workers and the consumers.
Every animal welfare agency in Australia condemns the live export trade.
Veterinarians have spoken for years about the conditions on board these ‘ships of shame’.
Thousands upon thousands of people all over the country – in fact 80% - oppose the live export trade. We all remember back in 2011 when the 7.30 Report exposed the diabolical treatment of cattle exported from Australia and the then Labor government’s attempt to close it down.
Eight years on and our politicians still haven’t got the message. We need representatives who are prepared to represent the community at a local, state and federal level.
Will our councillors step up and lobby government to end this cruelty - they seem pretty keen to talk about cats and the cruelty they inflict on wildlife - might be time to extend their range and lobby for sheep as well? The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources issued a direction under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry 1997 that the export was not to proceed unless sufficient measures were/are in place to ensure the animal welfare of livestock during the planned voyage. The intention of the direction was to ensure animals were not moved to or loaded onto the vessel until the Secretary was satisfied that acceptable animal health welfare outcomes could be met. Measures that would ensure there is ongoing objective and verifiable evidence that animal health and welfare outcomes are being met include:reduced stocking densities (by at least 15%)presence of an independent observer on board the vessel; and provision of detailed daily reports (including with images) to the Department. While the Australian Government and live export industry have talked all week about improving animal welfare and greater transparency in the trade, they’re secretly loading another shipment of sheep for live export right now.And despite the tough talk, it’s unclear if any new conditions have been applied. Just three days since that horrifying evidence was revealed, and it looks like it’s already back to business-as-usual for the live export industry. Right now, RSPCA Australia are demanding answers from the government. The local Member for Gilmore's office have this morning confirmed that a ship did leave port today with conditions. A copy of those ‘conditions’ has been requested. Right now, RSPCA Australia are demanding answers from the government but they need you to make as much noise as possible. If you haven’t already, email Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud. Call his office on (07) 4662 2715, (07) 4661 2494, or (02) 6277 7630. Contact your local MP Ann Sudmalis and MP Mike Kelly to voice your outrage. And talk about it online. Tell as many people as possible - don’t let them slip this under the radar. We’ll keep you posted. Thank you for your support
Background: Each year, around three million live sheep, cattle, buffalo and goats are exported from Australia to be slaughtered for meat overseas. Taken from Australian farms, or mustered from the bush, these animals endure a horrific journey. Crowded onto huge ships, they’ll face rough conditions, extreme temperatures, high stocking densities and are forced to lie in their own waste, often for weeks on end. As a result, these animals suffer terribly and many will die on board without even reaching their destination. Those that survive are then subject to further cruelty. Live animal exports take Australian animals outside the reach and protection of Australian animal welfare laws and the regulations, including being killed while fully conscious. At the same time, our trade in meat from animals that have been raised and humanely slaughtered here in Australia is much bigger and more valuable. RSPCA Australia has long argued for an end to the live export of animals in favour of expending Australia’s chilled and frozen meat trade. You can help end the cruelty by telling political leaders and your local representatives that live animal exports must stop.