Did anyone expect anything different?

Once again Australian TV viewers have been shocked by undercover footage of the brutal treatment of animals that are killed for food. This time the footage came from an Indonesian slaughterhouse that may or may not be part of the Australian live export system.

I say may or may not here, because the Australian government under the guise of commercial in confidence is keeping the list of ‘accredited’ slaughterhouses secret.

Being the eternal cynic that I am, the release of the footage raises a few questions in my mind.

What do they actually expect the government to do?
When Animals Australia applauded the ALP for passing a resolution at a recent national conference to create an Independant Office of Animal Welfare, they acknowledged that the current system is corrupt in that the minister for agriculture is responsible for both animal welfare and for sending the animals there in the first place.

We have seen in the past that the current government whilst they may say they are going to do something, when it comes time, they are more than likely to do whatever it is that they feel like. Does anyone remember Gillard’s “No emission trading scheme” promise?
Monday’s leadership ballot and recent history, has shown that the party is run by people that have no regard for what the public wants. Doing whatever it is they feel is best for the power brokers and faceless people of the party.

Australian legislation has been shown to be ineffective at protecting animals domestically, so how can it be expected to protect animals internationally?
The recent exposé of two ‘rogue’ slaughterhouse operators in australia has highlighted just how ineffective and pointless legislation is at actually protecting animals from being treated ‘inhumanely’ before they are killed. If we can’t even make sure the slaughterhouses under our jurisdiction follow the rules, how can we expect a slaughterhouse in a different country to follow them?

Why has the footage only just been released?
According to the reports, the footage was obtained in late January, so why was it only aired last night?

Could it be that it was only released to draw attention away from the problems at domestic slaughterhouses, portray the foreign ones as much worse, hopefully resulting in the cessation of live exports which will in turn drive more revenue into the domestic slaughterhouses?

Consider the words that were used during the Lateline segment. On two seperate ocasions the Chief Scientist for the RSPCA, Bidda Jones makes reference to Australian animals saying “They should not be used to slaughter Australian animals unless they have been modified for use with stunning.” and “It’s an extremely distressing thing to watch and no Australian animal should be subjected to this treatment.”

Lyn White from Animals Australia even uses Australian animals, when describing the reaction that one had to the treatment that the poor animal endured as if in some way it is only Australian animals that react in this manner.

Does this mean that it is OK for non-Australian animals to be slaughtered in this way? Or was the fact that the animals came from here used to elicit a response to the viewers in a way that the previous campaigns did?

Now I am not saying that there it was televised last night due to some nefarious reason on the part of Animals Australia, all I am doing is asking a question…

What do these groups want their supporters to do?
Animals Australia is asking its supporters to write to their Federal MP urging them to bring an end to the live export trade. That’ll work, look at how successful it was last time.

To slightly paraphrase Dr Who from the episode A Good Man Goes to War, “Please, write a letter if it helps you relax, you’re only human”

It seems that that is all that we are capable of doing now, writing a letter, filling out an online petition, holding a placard, or something else just as ineffective.

You can write a letter demanding a gazillion CCTV cameras, the toughest legislation in the entire planet and it will still not stop this sort of thing from happening 100% of the time.

The only way to stop animals being treated this way is to stop them from being killed in the first place, and the only way to do that is to go vegan.