Lyn FitzGibbon, Bangalow
I call your attention to the latest brutal outrages perpetrated on Australian animals and as well as those who seek to protect them. Last week we were appalled by images of Australian cattle being bludgeoned to death with sledgehammers in Vietnam to be met with, once again, a complete lack of appropriate action being taken by our illustrious leaders.
This week we see more horrific images of the conditions suffered by these unfortunate creatures, on the ships which carry them to their cruel and barbaric fate. (I hasten to add that I watched as little as possible of the footage, as I can’t bear to watch such brutality)
The worst part is that we can’t blame anyone but our own industry for these latest atrocities. Apparently these ships and the way they carry their miserable cargo are all within Australian regulatory standards. If that isn’t bad enough, they have now sacked experienced and respected live export veterinarian Lynn Simpson, who was employed specifically to advise government after the expose of conditions in Indonesian abattoirs in 2011. She gave them a confidential report which they stupidly published on their own website, and then sacked her because the industry ‘could no longer work with her’. Once again we see evidence of an industry controlling it’s own regulator! This is nothing short of corruption.
Surely enough is enough. We need to end this inhumane treatment of defenceless creatures destined to end up on people’s dinner plates. New Zealand ended it’s own live export trade for exactly these reasons and it’s high time we did the same. Obviously it would have to happen over time, so that people’s livelihoods were protected, but we need to move towards selling meat which has been killed humanely in Australia.
It is clear that Barnaby Joyce and the Department of Agriculture are only interested in the income derived from this industry and are prepared to turn a blind eye to anything which might get in the way. Only yesterday, this quote was published on Joyce’s Facebook page. ‘If it walks, if it isn’t human, someone around the world wants to eat it. I believe in the future of agriculture in Australia, one of our fastest growing industries, one with record prices.’
The only way things will change is if people speak out. I urge anyone who is affronted by this continuing cruelty to join organisations like Animals Australia and others who are dedicated to ending the live export trade. The animals cannot speak for themselves – so we must speak for them.