Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Fight to end animal cruelty not over

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has condemned the Labor Government and the Liberal-National Opposition for turning their backs on animal cruelty and voting down his Private Members Bill for a phased shut down of the live export trade.

“It escapes me how it is that neither the Government, nor the Opposition, could bring themselves to support the Bill when the serious problems with the live animal export industry are so obvious to so many of our constituents,’’ he said.

“How much more evidence does the Government and the Opposition need to see before they agree to wind up the industry?’’

The vote came as Animals Australia released new graphic footage of cattle and sheep suffering cruel and painful deaths in slaughterhouses in Turkey which kill Australian animals.

“By allowing this tortuous trade to continue, both the Government and the Opposition are condoning animal cruelty,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

“They’re as good as saying it’s OK for Australian animals to suffer unspeakable and unnecessary cruelty in overseas slaughterhouses.’’

Mr Wilkie said the Turkish footage of cattle and sheep being hoisted in the air by one leg before slaughter and botched attempts to cut their throats demonstrates again that animal cruelty is widespread in Australian live export markets and not contained to Indonesia.

“What we saw on Four Corners was not a one off, which is why the Federal Government’s response of putting out spot fires after it’s publicly embarrassed will not stop animal cruelty,’’ he said.

“Meat and Livestock Australia has failed to protect the welfare of Australian animals in Turkey just like it failed in Indonesia.

“If we’re not going to stop the trade, at the very least we need to demand Australian standards be applied right along the supply chain.’’

“While I would have preferred a ban of live export, I’m a realist and I’ll now look at a new Bill that would legislate Australian standards and mandatory stunning in foreign abattoirs that are granted permits to process Australian livestock.’’

Download the Wilkie speech to Parliament this morning:

Live_animal_exports_18_Aug_11.pdf

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Tim Thorne

    August 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Maddie (#24), that still doesn’t answer my question. It seems that Dick has changed his mind between 31 May and last week. So, it appears, have other ALP politicians. I just want to know why the jobs of Australian meat workers (not to mention the welfare of cattle) have lost importance as an issue in less than three months.

  2. PB

    August 20, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Dick Adams exemplifies the abject, sheep like mentality of our current crop of politicians who only represent their own vested financial interests.

    Andrew Wilkie is the only Federal politician with any degree of courage and intellect and as a Denison voter I am proud of the fact that we are the one electorate in Australia represented by someone who is not beholden to the partisan political shenanigans that are hell bent on destroying our country in the spurious guise of economic growth.

    From a personal perspective I would also like to pay public tribute to Paul Lockyer, John Bean and Gary Ticehurst who tragically died in their quest to document the priceless and wonderful true human and natural values of our Australian landscape which I am incredibly lucky to have shared in my own humble existence.

  3. Maddie

    August 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    #19 Tim Thorne: Very good question Tim. I had an email from Dick Adams in response to one I sent after seeing the 4 Corners expose. FYI I’m copying it below. I’ll contact him again ASAP.
    (Hope it’s not too long Lindsay)

    Quote:
    Thank you for your concerns about the 4 Corners Program on live animal export. I put this media release out last Tuesday and will be following up with meetings with the Minister and farming groups to see how these terrible scenes can be stopped for good. Farmers now need to know your concerns; I don’t believe they really know what happens to their animals once they leave the farm.

    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today announced that the Government has suspended the export of live cattle to Indonesia until new safeguards are established for the trade. This suspension will be in place until the Government and industry establishes sufficient safeguards which provide a verifiable and transparent supply chain assurance, up to, and including, the point of slaughter for every consignment that leaves Australia.

    Regards,

    Dick Adams

    Dick Adams MP

    Federal Member for Lyons

    Media Release

    31 May 2011

    Dick Adams, Federal Member for Lyons and also Chairman of the Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry Standing Committee said that he was appalled at the conditions of animals shown on the ABC 4 Corners Program last night.

    “This is not in the interests of Australia to have animals treated in such a horrific manner, “he said.

    “As an ex meat worker, I know that it is quite unnecessary to cause such distress to an animal in a processing works.”

    Mr Adams along with other ALP Federal Members earlier this year put together a private members motion seeking the phasing out of live animal exports.

    “I said at the time, this is just exporting Australian jobs and the quality of the product from a live animal suffers once it starts travelling distances and that does nothing for the reputation of the farmers or Australian produce.”

    Mr Adams said he also took issue with the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) organisation as they must have been aware of this issue from a report they sought in 2005.

    “The report undertaken for the MLA pointed out that the conditions under which animals were killed left much to be desired and the recommendations then were to have investigate measures to improve things.

    “Obviously that was not followed up,” Mr Adams said.

    “I do not think that the interests of Australia are being represented by the MLA.”

    Mr Adams said that there should be ban of all livestock being shipped to Indonesia until this whole matter has been thoroughly investigated and measures put in place that meet all Australian standards

    “The MLA should have already been investigating cool and cold storage in both the Middle East and South East Asia; the animals should be slaughtered here and exported as carcases.

    “That way we can control the animal welfare and we can control the quality of the product as it leaves our shores; it does not make economic sense to export live animals for meat processing.

    “We lose quality and we lose jobs.

    “At the Labor Party Caucus today, a debate took place on this issue and the Minister gave an undertaking to stop the exports to those abattoirs seen on the television program and investigate the rest of the industry as a matter of urgency, Mr Adams concluded.”
    Unquote.

  4. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    With great respect to our Denison Independent MP, Andrew’s focus was for legislative change that will not come because of the strong lobbying from these live-animal exporter interests.

    The focus needed to be on the MLA and the veterinary profession who designed and approved of this cruel method of torture-killing in Indonesian abattoirs. You didn’t need to be a well-heeled vet or a MLA executive to see that this was animal torture in the extreme!… even if the money and the glad-handing was laid on thick in Indonesia. For Pete’s sakes!

    These two groups have been allowed to get away without any flak at all.

    Andrew, why didn’t you go for these gatekeeper organisations that caused this fiasco in the first place?

  5. Max Bound

    August 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Export of live animals is a form of torture in itself and on top of this we have been shown that the animals exported are subjected to additional forms of torture in bizare slaughter practices.
    Then of course an additional surface issue is that it is clearly an export of jobs.
    Dick Adams, as a long time ago abbatoirs worker, has an additional reason to be against export of jobs from what was once his trade. It will be interesting to see how Maddie (15 above)responds to Tim’s (19 above) question as to why Dick voted for for live animal export if he was voting against his own convictions?

    I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan, but I do realise that the amount of meat some small part of the world’s population eat and the feeding of grain to animals are simply not sustainable into the future. Thus the need for us to inform ourselves and push for action on this,to most people, less obvious problem. This aspect raises the issue of the extent to which farming animals for meat can continue into the future anyway.

    As to the quite unreasoned attack on Andrew Wilkie by Tom in (3)above and the parroting of Tony Abbott in calling for an election it would seem that Tom is trying to grind a useless axe.

    It is not an election we need but a strengthening of the tentative and very limited break from parroting the Liberls represented in the Labor Party’s policy to make a tiny beginning to address both Climate change and equity issues. Bad as things might currently be it is hard to imagine anything worse for Australia than an Abboot led Government.

    Andrew Wilkie and other members of our current Federal Parliament, not in either of the major Parties, have played a major role in pushing the Labor Party into potential actions to actually take some limited steps towards addressing the massive existant and looming challenges before us.

    Australia has to face up to the need to shed neo-liberal, rob the poor to make the rich ever richer, policies if we are to avoid the worst effects of the ongoing and acceleration economic crises engulfing our world. The last Federal election created a parliament that is no longer only a rubber stamp machine and hopefully that is only a beginning. But if we are to see some sort of genuine democracy become part of the ongoing function of our parliamentary system there will have to be a lot more informed and intelligent public pressure exercised by ordinary people.

  6. Bumper Sticker: Australia - We Torture ritters

    August 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    The stinky dump of animal traffickers can be found at MLA,at PGA, at DAFF, in the rust buckets that fly the flags of convenience, in the primordial abattoirs, in our fake democracy spawned Gillard and Abbott driving the gravy trains to the Animal Holocaust.

  7. Cause and Effect

    August 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    “In 2004, the Australian Government introduced tough new livestock export standards to ensure that live animals being transported to international markets are treated humanely” (Source: DAFF)

    DAFF are unfit to regulate a brutal industry that treats sentient creatures as lumps of coal and functions by spin and obfuscation. DAFF’s complicity in this corrupt industry has resulted in a nation of shame where this once proud country is being condemned throughout the civilised world.

    The rejection of the live export ban is the most outrageous and the most contemptible act by a motley smorgasbord of MPs. There is no worse heresy than a Commonwealth that sanctifies the criminal actions of an industry for which the Commonwealth itself is ultimately responsible.

  8. Tim Thorne

    August 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    #15, Maddie, if he is against it, then why did he vote for it?

  9. John Wade

    August 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Jon Ayling @ 17 – “We used to have Livestock Inspectors employed to oversee farm treatment of animals. Inspectors with a Warrant of Authority to prosecute any contrary conduct to the Stock Act and associated Acts.”(8)

    Generally most farms were provided with an educational aspect of husbandry / pasture management / stock control. The final option was prosecution and penalty, with one’s name in the local press.

  10. Jon Ayling

    August 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Re 8# John Wade, I agree, it would be prudent to have our own ‘backyard’ animal welfare issues in check before condemning other countries, but exactly how one does this, when cruelty is an integral and inextricable part of current intensive farming practices worldwide, I don’t know. The truth behind animal cruelty is that it is widespread and systemic. The isolated acts of aggravated cruelty that end up as media headlines have a strong tendency to divert the attention of the public away from systemic farming, which is exactly what the industry and the government prefers for good reasons.
    Long gone are the days of only small farms producing all manner of produce for local communities and with this loss has gone any vestigial moral concern we may have had for farmed animals. Mass ‘carcass units of production’ and a dollar value per kilo of saleable protein is all many producers now understand of other sentient species.

  11. Maddie

    August 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Anne #9: another good website to go to if you want to know what is going on is http://www.voiceless.org.au/

  12. Maddie

    August 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    #12 John. I know all about poddy calves, having made a tree change from Victoria to north west Tas in ’89. The whole thing sickened me and 14 years of seeing the callous nature of the dairy industry outweighed the beauty of my surroundings there – was very glad to leave it behind. If a heifer didn’t produce a calf the first year she was in season she was sent for the chop. Poor old cows whose milk production decreased were also “choppers”. Cows that flicked their tails in farmers faces while in the dairy had tails cut off. Hated calving season when the calf truck called at all the farms and collected the poor little blighters. They are all just “products”.
    #11 Tim Thorne. Dick Adams is against live export from two angles: employment and cruelty but, as pointed out by others here, the industry here is not beyond reproach and needs to be cleaned up too. Can’t remember who said it or exact wording but it was something like: “if abattoirs had glass walls, people wouldn’t eat meat”. In many cases the cruelty starts long before the animal reaches that destination. Awful business.

  13. salamander

    August 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    #3 I ask Tom, what good would an election be? Liberal and Labor are as bad as each other. Unlike them, Wilkie is actually doing his job!

  14. Geraldine Robertson

    August 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Anne number 9. Link on to the Animals Australia web site

    http://www.animalsaustralia.org/

    and they will tell you everything about the poor farm animals.

  15. John Wade

    August 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    A poddy is a calf.
    “sent to the works’ to be turned into a product.
    What happens to the meat?, either becomes veal (true veal is a slinky, which is unborn) or pet meat.
    Is it true about dairy cows?, no, if they are no longer good enough for milk production the meat would probably be sent to the cannery for inclusion into soups, beef and beans, etc or become pet food or reduced to dried stock powder, or blood and bone fertiliser; they become a product that you and me are not told about.
    Intrinsically, cattle become necessities that we can or can not do without.

    I just don’t like the way SOME of our farm stock are treated by SOME of our farmers. Let me iterate SOME.

  16. Tim Thorne

    August 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    The whole cruelty issue is bad enough, but even if there were no maltreatment of animals overseas the issue of jobs for Australian meatworkers would remain. I am surprised that Dick Adams, with his background, can acquiesce in the export of so many Australian jobs.

    With both major parties united in support of maintaining high profits for foreign meat companies and against Australian workers, and the fact that it took the cruelty issue to rouse any opposition from one Independent and one Green, we are being badly served by the parliamentary system.

    Or am I to believe that the vast majority of Australian voters don’t care about either animal or human welfare?

  17. John Biggs

    August 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    The whole industry needs cleaning both here and overseas. Our record on battery farming for pigs and chickens is in the same ball park as Indonesia and Turkey for beef and lambs. To insist on processing beef and lambs here is not necessarily the appropriate answer unless the whole industry is cleaned up. And if Andrew is responsible for that happening then what a wonderful breakthrough that would be.

    #3. Tom your comment is palpably untrue (“ineffectual”!) and disengenuous (“…forcing a new election”). Wilkie has done more than any politician , including getting a review of the gaming system in train, the RHH and many besides. As for a new election …

  18. Anne Cadwallader

    August 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Dear John Wade at #8 – can you expand on this for us non farm readers? Whats a “poddy” calf? Why are they “sent to the works”
    and what happens to them or their meat ? Is it true that dairy cows when no longer wanted are used for hamburgers? These are the kinds of things that we need to know about to make ethical choices as consumers. Its our spending that shapes agricultural practice.

  19. John Wade

    August 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

    It would do us well, as a state and as a nation to clean up our own backyards first.

    One needs to go little further than the local dairy to spot animal cruelty in action. Particularly during the calving season. I remember when a poddy was NOT sent to the works before the prepuce was dry, usually 4 – 5 days. These days I have witnessed a calf that had not risen to its feet to suckle being thrown, I mean thrown, into the calf crate to be sent to slaughter.
    A calf dead in a paddock for 5 days before I contacted an authority to report the situation and the emergent disease threat.

    We used to have Livestock Inspectors employed to oversee farm treatment of animals. Inspectors with a Warrant of Authority to prosecute any contrary conduct to the Stock Act and associated Acts.

  20. Maddie

    August 18, 2011 at 10:35 am

    This should have been a ‘conscience vote’. It was voted down because they all followed their particular party line, like sheep. Difference is the 4 legged versions are headed for a cruel end whilst the pollies who voted this down sit comfortably and wait for a lucrative handout when their time is up (in Govt). ‘Snouts in the trough’ springs to mind but that makes me think about pigs – the whole industry is a sad reflection on humanity. Thanks to Andrew Wilkie for trying to rectify this and, please keep trying.

  21. Jon Ayling

    August 18, 2011 at 8:24 am

    So the millions of Australians who have expressed real concern over the live export nightmare in one way or another, are just supposed to swallow this and contentedly go back to consuming goods until they drop? If Julia Gillard thinks she can sweep this one under the carpet by refusing a conscience vote she is very mistaken.

  22. Peter

    August 18, 2011 at 12:42 am

    18 August 2011: FOREST AGREEMENT NEGOTIATIONS:Gunns Limited Managing Director, Mr Greg L’Estrange, today welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s decision to appoint a probity auditor to review Gunns’ contracts but sought assurances that the process would be expedited to end the onerous uncertainty the decision has created.

    Please refer to link below for the full announcement:

    http://www.gunns.com.au/Content/uploads/documents/MEDIA RELEASE – 2011 08 18 – Forest Agreement Negotiations.pdf

    Greg L’Estrange, Managing Director
    For further information please call 03 6335 5201

    If you do not wish to receive emails from Gunns Limited, please reply to this message,
    without deleting the original email, with Unsubscribe in the subject line.

    If this is a second request for removal, we may not have the correct email address to remove.
    Please be sure to include all possible email addresses.

    Any person wishing to subscribe to emails from Gunns Limited, please email communications@gunns.com.au
    – thank you for your cooperation.

    Gunns Limited, PO Box 572, Launceston Tas 7250

  23. Anne Cadwallader

    August 18, 2011 at 12:07 am

    If this problem is not addressed, I think it will affect the entire meat industry, a vast but vulnerable part of our economy and our food chain. Already there are problems with the carbon cost of beef being raised increasingly on grain feed, and not pasture. There are strong arguments in food security and food justice for people to eat much less meat.

    Good, conservative and humane livestock farmers will be tainted by the callousness and indifference of the live meat exporters. Meat sales have been affected negatively by the cruelty issue being raised in people’s minds. We don’t like to think of abbatoirs as we munch on our steak.

    Eat local, eat grass fed, eat organic, and know your farmer. Thats entirely possible in Tasmania. Love to hear from those in the know in this industry on what is the local situation.

  24. Tom

    August 18, 2011 at 12:03 am

    It escapes me how is that neither the government nor Wilkie could not bring themselves to support a fresh election when the serious problems with governance of the country are so obvious to so many of their constituents.

    I so wish Wilkie stopped harping on about irrelevant stuff and actually did something constructive by forcing a new election removing his ineffectual self from public life in the process.

  25. Ian Rist

    August 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    It’s called money Andrew, the evil dollar.
    And that is where democracy breaks down, it’s not about what is right or wrong, it’s about what suits the most influential people.
    If the animal activists were to show animals dying from 1080 poisoning there would be another call to ban the stuff tomorrow… but the NFF and Forestry would lobby and it would be business as usual the next day.

  26. john hayward

    August 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    What the Labs and Libs demonstrated here, as they did in their comparably venal stances on refugees and resource taxes, is that they are essentially for hire by any industry which gives them lots of money.

    John Hayward

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