the root cause of these problems rests solely in society’s view of animals as a commodity
With the increase in compassion and awareness that is now being felt by Australian consumers, thanks to the Make it Possible and Ban Live Export campaigns by Animals Australia, I feel that it is also time to spare a thought for those animals who have been overlooked and consequently, not thought about. Amongst those animals are sheep, goats and cattle raised for domestic slaughter.
In the eyes of the incremental reformists, life is about as good as it gets for these animals.
Sure the RSPCA announced at the recent BeefEx conference, they will soon be launching its Beef Welfare Challenge, and in June of this year Chay Neal, Vice President of Animal Liberation Queensland, announced on the Freedom Of Species radio program that they would be looking at feedlots as well. Though their time in a feedlot is only a small period of their life.
For the record, most cattle raised for slaughter in Australia have a restricted lifespan of between 15-20 months, spending the last 50-100 days of their life in a feedlot to be finished, which is just industry jargon for being fattened up prior to slaughter.
What is concerning is that with October being a record month in terms of exports for these animals, they don’t rate a mention in any animal advocacy campaigns. Export amounts are: Lamb – 18,574 tonnes swt (36% increase on Sept), Beef – 94,147 tonnes swt (12% increase on Sept), and Goat – 4,042 tonnes swt (82% increase on Sept)
Monday’s 4 Corners episode will feature another exposé on the live export trade that they have produced with the assistance of Animals Australia, and supposedly the whole truth will be revealed.
I wonder whether this truth will include or even mention that the root cause of these problems rests solely in society’s view of animals as a commodity. Everything else is used as window dressing designed to get us to focus on what they want us to.
I also doubt that they will mention the blindingly obvious facts that a) these animals are no longer Australian property, b) that Australian laws, regulations, Code of Practice are completely unenforceable outside of Australian sovereign territory c) the chilled meat is just as fraught with diplomatic and political BS
For example, at the time of writing this, there are 118 containers of frozen beef sitting on the docks of Indonesia, imported from different countries with an estimated value of between $8-10 Million. These containers have been stranded at an Indonesian port since July due to the importer allegedly exceeding an import quota.
What will happen to these containers remains to be seen, the exporter interviewed has indicated that the containers are able to be reexported, though if the port charges and demurrage continue, they may be discarded.
If this happens, and the containers are destroyed, then that pretty much means that those animals were killed for nothing.
Now combine this with reports out of Tasmania that the government there seems to be reneging on their commitment to be sow stall free by next year. If you watch the clip linked to in the footnote, you will hear Dr Malcolm Caufield, from the Tasmanian Government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee refuting industry claims that sow stalls improve productivity.
Coles and Woolworths have also said that if Tasmanian pork producers continue to use sow stalls, even under the new government guidelines which allow for a max of 10 days confinement, they will not be purchasing their products, yet 24 hours is deemed ‘acceptable’.
What is missing from those statements is that both Coles and Woolworths have that criteria for their own house brand products, and that the standard does not apply to branded products they sell. So, for arguments sake, all the Tasmanian producers have to do is sell their pork to X,Y,Z Smallgoods, and they can be sold in the supermarkets.
This is yet another one of the short comings of the process of incremental reform.
Promoting veganism, talking to people about veganism, and getting people to Go Vegan is the only way we can stop all of the events listed above from happening.
Regulating a socially accepted practice cannot and will not do that.
1: BeefEx: RSPCA to launch beef welfare challenge
Retrieved 12 October 2012
3: Another bloody business
Retrieved 03 November 2012
4: Australian beef refused entry into Indonesia
Retrieved 30 Oct 2012
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (30+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about it and giving other animals equal consideration.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.blog