Earlier this month, Australian Greens Senator, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, introduced a bill to Parliament to end the live export industry in Australia.
“We make no apologies for standing up for the welfare of animals. We need a phased ban with a structural adjustment assistance fund which can transition the industry to the chilled meat trade.”
As Senator Faruqi rightly asserts, live export is inherently dangerous for the animals involved and cannot be made safe for sheep, cows, or any other animal.
“It is a business model built on cruelty and is simply incompatible with animal welfare.”
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the bill will make it through the House of Representatives. Even if it were to secure the support of Labor, Centre Alliance, and independent members, the bill would require a further three votes to pass.
Centre Alliance MP, Rebekha Sharkie, believes there is no future for live export and at least one Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie agrees, stating publicly,
“The only way to end the cruelty is to end the trade.”
However, while Labor wants to phase out all live sheep exports over time, Shadow Agriculture Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon has expressed unequivocal support for the live cow trade.
The introduction of the bill comes in the wake of distressing images and footage of Australian cows, captured by Israel Against Live Exports, as they disembarked at the port of Eilat in Israel.
The pictures show workers using electric prodders, standing on the backs of cows, and twisting their tails. Thirty four calves died on board the Maysora, while 30 died after disembarking. This is not surprising given it took five days to offload the animals, leaving them in hot and crowded conditions.
And this is certainly not the only incident involving Australian cows in recent times.
During the past 13 months, 99 buffalo and more than 1500 cows have disappeared from approved feedlots or abattoirs in Vietnam and in 2016, Animals Australia secured footage from within a Vietnamese abattoir where cows were bludgeoned to death using sledgehammers. Back in 2011, Four Corners aired footage of Australian cows subjected to extreme cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs.
These incidents demonstrate how incredibly difficult it is to control how Australian animals are treated once they leave our shores and it is not an issue that will go away. It’s up to caring Australian to maintain pressure on the government to end this dreadful trade.
In the coming weeks we’ll rescue and rehome dozens of cows (https://tilthecowscomehome.org/how-does-the-law-protect-calves-in-australia/) and hundreds of other formerly farmed animals across Australia. If you would like to see what animals we have available for adoption in your region click here (updated daily): https://www.facebook.com/tilthecowscomehomeau/photos/a.342543169601685/668353813687284/?type=3&theater or if you would like to support this cause by making a donation click here: paypal.me/tilthecowscomehomeau
By Genevieve Mater