Once again it seems that people in Australia are getting upset over the treatment of some animals that were sold to an overseas buyer.
The footage from Animals Australia that was shown on the ABC’s Four Corners showed animals at an Indonesian slaughterhouse being mistreated and killed in ways that were not palatable to the wider Australian public.
Since the airing of the Four Corners report we have seen the different sides of politics condemn the killing of “Australian” animals in this manner. Our Prime Minister has even decided to put an immediate ban on live exports of cattle to that country.
Animal welfare groups have done the usual thing that they do and claim this as a victory for common sense. Whilst the livestock industry is up in arms about the ban saying that it will cost them $X per week or for however long it lasts. This in turn has caused the premier of Queensland to establish a government sponsored taskforce to find new markets for the animals that were to be shipped overseas to be killed.
The meat workers union has even come out on the side of the animal groups by claiming that the 2 industry groups knew about the slaughter practices that were taking place in the region and they just turned a blind eye to it. Though their position is that the animals should be killed here because live exports put Australian jobs at risk.
So what will come out of all of this, will we see any improvements and who are the ones that really have blood on their hands?
I believe that whilst this ‘situation’ leaves questions unanswered and even more not asked it will all soon be covered by the smoke screen that is government and/or industry rhetoric once the public shifts focus to another issue.
Sadly, this once again points out the hypocritical attitudes that we have in this country.
Those poor hard done by farmers raised the cattle for the sole purpose to be killed, either here or overseas, and they are rewarded handsomely. Regardless of how many codes of practice they claim to abide by, the fact of the matter is these sentient beings were raised to be killed.
Watching the footage, that I am sure was heavily censored to make it ‘entertaining’, how can we be surprised that a country that is well known for their human rights violations doesn’t really care about the way that animals are treated?
Now that we are all aware and upset about the way that a sovereign state kills property that belongs to it, are we, as Australian’s going to demand an end to the senseless slaughter of kangaroos, an animal that appears on our national coat of arms? Remember, Indonesia is a sovereign self governing state and the cattle that were killed belonged to them. It does not make one bit of difference that the cattle were raised here, because once their ownership changed hands, they were no longer ‘Australian’.
What about the way that animals are treated in Australia’s “civilized” slaughterhouses? Just because Temple Grandin has designed a slaughterhouse with curves and curtains doesn’t make the fact that animals are raised and killed for economic benefit any less barbaric.
Then there are the legions of meat eaters who seem to think that just because the animals that they eat are killed ‘humanely’ that it absolves them of any guilt. Sorry to have to tell you this, there is no such thing as humane slaughter.
Once the emotions about this have died down, exports will be resumed because the industry bodies would have worked out a transitional plan to retrain overseas staff and upgrade facilities, based on an irrelevant code of practice or guidelines to minimise the risk of these things happening in the future.
And when it comes down to it, all these things only happened in a handful of Indonesian abattoirs, so I can’t really see what all the fuss was about. Because you can’t tell me that every slaughterhouse in Australia operates above the industry standard 100% of the time.
The only way to prevent this happening again in the future is to not raise and sell animals to be killed in the first place.