Now that the Australian federal election has been called, the Australian Greens inspired slogan “No Ban, No Vote” is being trumpeted about in a vain attempt to get politicians to change their mind on the issue of live export.
Sadly for the animals, I doubt that there will be any sort of ban or phase out of the live export of other animals within the next decade, if not more.
So, what is it about live export that makes it so bad?
I would like to say that those who are against live export are doing so because of the way that the exported animals are killed when they reached their final destination, which we are told is without stunning to render them insensible to pain. Except there are 12 slaughterhouses in Australia that have an exemption on ‘religious grounds’ from the pre-stunning requirement.
In 2011, it was estimated that those 12 slaughterhouses killed approx 250,000 sheep per year this way. Though considering that it is now 2013, there is a very good chance that this number has increased. Possibly dramatically too.
Could it be the way that the animals are transported to their overseas destination?
Years ago, I would have said yes. Though with todays exporter knowing that for every animal that dies or gets sick during transport, the lower their profit is going to be, things have changed dramatically. Which is why the focus by these alleged animal protection groups is now on the way that the animals are killed once they reach their destination.
We have to remember that, “Ban Live Export” rolls off the tongue a heap better than “Ban Foreign Slaughter”, or “Stop Australian Sheep/Goats/Cattle Being Killed In Country X”.
Thanks to Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) which came about after the Animals Australia ‘expose’ of treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses, there is more accountability in the live export trade than there is in the domestic slaughter industry.
For example, the exporter of live export animals, in particular cattle and buffalo, must be able to trace individual animals throughout the entire supply chain and link them to the specific consignment. Along with, accounting for each animal or clearly explain the reason if there is a lack of accountability of an animal/s.
Something that, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t happen with domestic slaughter.
[GARD]Another thing to remember is that whilst those animals who are part of the live export trade may have been born and raised in Australia, they are still property. From the time that they are herded onto the road trains to head to the holding yard or docks, they are someone else property. Whether the legal ownership of the animals happens here or overseas doesn’t really matter, at some point in the process they are no longer ‘Australian animals’.
This would be the same as every puppy breeder having to account for how the puppies he/she sells are transported to the pet shop; how long they stay in the pet shop; who the prospective owner is; how they transport the puppy; and holding the pet store liable if the new owner allows the puppy to attack someone later down the track.
Actually, come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea.
So what is it that makes live export so bad?
In a word. Race/Religion.
The animals where these are exported to isn’t a christian country, and as such doesn’t require pre-stun the animals before they are slaughtered for food. This makes what they do, despite it being the widely held belief of that country, wrong in our eyes.
This is also why the whole Ban Live Export campaigns were able to garner so much public support. They allowed the Australian meat eater to feel morally superior to these who are muslim and/or living in a less developed country to ours.
Of course the popular animal protection groups will deny this, and say that it is all about the animals, yet this really isn’t the case, because they don’t really care about animals that come from other countries. If they were, they would be campaigning for imporvement to the way that all animals are killed in those countries, rather than saying we can’t send any there from Australia, and they will also be campainging to stop having animals killed here in Australia in the first place.
If you are against live export, what are your reasons for saying that it is so bad?