It is quite disturbing that in the 21st century that we should have to raise the subject of live cattle exports.
It is a diabolical but I think an easily fixed problem that causes a great deal of anxiety and distress for many people and coming from a farming background, I too share the nauseating unease and disquiet over this grievous and grotesque treatment of animals either here in Australia with domestic pets, the live baiting of Greyhounds or in the context of the live cattle export market.
What we’ve witnessed in recent times in Indonesia and Vietnam is nothing short of atrocious and deplorable and must be condemned at the highest levels and in the strongest possible terms.
I do not and never have understood the need, desire or drive to treat animals in such a manner when more humane methods are available.
Having heard just a bit about the latest video from Vietnam, after having seen the Indonesian version and the live baiting of Greyhounds, I just couldn’t watch it.
Knowing that it goes on is enough and all I need to know. It all leaves me wondering, just who are the animals?
Live exports to 3rd world countries and others that don’t share Australia’s humane treatment of animals should be unceremoniously, unapologetically, unambiguously and unconditionally linked to our foreign aid budget as the carrot to force compliance to first world humane standards and conditions even if that means Australia funding and building the facilities to make this happen.
For Australia, live exports are a huge industry and a great deal hangs in the balance, but here’s the problem as I see it.
If social pressure was such we were ever to surrender the massive market and walk away and ban live exports, not only will that effect our trade balance and the cattle industry overall in Australia, but Indonesia and Vietnam will simply source their live animal exports from somewhere else and wherever that is, there can be no guarantees that that country will subscribe to the same first world humane treatment of animals or have the same leverage with Indonesia and Vietnam or even care about the treatment of live exports.
Now that the treatment of live exports has been exposed on national television, Australia is better placed to monitor, raise and verbalise our concerns as well as maintain a watching brief, and use the leverage and clout of our foreign aid budget to bring about a much needed change in attitudes and processes.
Both Indonesia and Vietnam now know that we know.
All of this raise the one obvious question that should be addressed and something that I’ve never understood, and that is why can’t the animals be slaughtered in Darwin for example with all the usual Halal prayers or other culturally sensitive procedures performed by an Imam or whatever and then exported the short distance to the markets of South East Asia?
That would be a win win for all concerned, particularly the poor bloody animals.