Presentation to Eurobodalla Shire Council
Tuesday 24th April 2018
Presenter: Jessica Bateman
(Moruya NSW resident).
Re: Notice of Motion that Council write to the Australian Government advocation to phase out the live export of animals
Good morning Mayor, Councillors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
My presentation today is in support of Councillor Patrick McGinlay’s motion: that Council
write to the Australian Government advocating to phase out the live export of animals.
On the weekend I was discussing an article with my family that was reporting on the conditions aboard the MV Maysora, the first livestock ship to depart Western Australia after the Industry’s horror was exposed. Now this was a different ship to the ship at the centre of the horrific animal abuse exposure. And a different exporter.
Upon arriving in Fremantle, after first loading sheep and cattle in Adelaide, Inspectors from the Department of Primary Industries boarded the vessel.
What the inspectors found was distressing. Sheep so tightly packed that they couldn’t lie down without being trampled. Many water troughs were empty, and the troughs that did have water in them, were heavily contaminated with faeces. Many sheep had escaped from their pens and at least two sheep were observed to be dead.
And it wasn’t just sheep that were suffering. Cattle were being trampled on. And the floors were so slippery from the slurry of manure that fallen cattle were unable to regain their footing, and so were left helpless on the floor.
And on top of all this, it was also believed that there was no vet on board!
Now this was all observed on still water. This ship was still docked at Fremantle. The main voyage (to Turkey) had not even started. And it was not in the middle of Summer, yet conditions were already atrocious. Can you imagine the conditions after three weeks of travelling like this? Of course you can. You only have to think back to the horrific images of that harrowing 60 Minutes report. In fact, as we speak, the animals on that ship are living those images because that ship, the MV Maysora, left Fremantle last Wednesday with 82,000 Australian animals on board.
Despite all the expose, recent and past, animals are still suffering, and they will continue to suffer for as long as this industry exists.
When we’d finished discussing the article, my 14-year-old son said to me “You know what makes all this even more horrible Mum? …...This is Australia!”.
This is Australia!!
These words, and the way he said it, said it all. There was sorrow in his voice. There was bewilderment. There was shame. This is Australia! This is not what we’re about. In fact we condemn the actions of animal cruelty in other countries. We are appalled with Japan’s whale hunting in the name of science. We are outraged by China’s cruel and extensive animal testing policy. And we shudder at the thought of Asia’s horrific dog meat trade. Yet here we are…Australians, allowing these horrible acts of cruelty to be carried out, and knowingly sending innocent animals to countries where animal welfare standards are well below ours, or non-existent. Our Government, our leaders, are letting this to happen, and have let this happen for decades.
You might argue that this is not a local issue. I would disagree.
Last week, a few community members, myself included, set up a table in Batemans Bay, collecting signatures for petitions to Ban Live Animal Export.
We did not harass people, or pressure them to sign. But when they realised why we were there, they came, and they signed. They voiced their outrage, their disgust. They were signing a petition to ban live export. They weren’t signing a petition to “fix” live export or make a few changes. And they were not signing a petition to ban live export only during the Middle Eastern Summer months. No, this was a petition to ban live animal export, period.
Members of our community, myself, my 14-year-old son, we want to see the end of this cruel industry. And that’s why, as representatives of our community, we are calling on you, the council, to write to the Australian Government, urging them to phase out this horrid, barbaric trade.
This is Australia! We the community of Eurobodalla are part of Australia. And this is an industry that we do not want.
Ref: Not sheep shape: Livestock trampled and dying on ship docked in Fremantle, Author: John Flint https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/not-sheep-shape-livestock-trampled-and-dying-on-ship-docked-in-fremantle-ng-b88813093z , 22/4/2018.