Livestock Export Review

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Last updated: 1 Aug 2011

Dan Hanks

To whom it may concern

The livestock export trade has obviously been big news lately, with the courageous actions of a few highlighting to many the truth behind live export.

I am a vegetarian, currently trying to go vegan. I was already aware of the heinous treatment of animals in the food processing industry, not just overseas but in Australia as well. Yet I have accepted that meat will always be a part of our lives and in some cases can be beneficial to the growth of the human body (my son will eat a full diet until he is old enough to make his own decisions on the matter).

Yet the horrors revealed by the recent investigation have proven that there are limits. The footage shown was too much to stomach for even some of the more hardened meat eaters I know.

Ceasing all livestock export was and still is the right thing to do. But not without the proper procedures in place to support the farmers affected. Not without a bit of foresight and planning.

Of course, the government was possibly just seeking to get the public off its back, until it could quietly resume the trade without too much fuss. It seems to have worked.

Don’t be fooled.

Most good and decent people are outraged by such horrific treatment of animals. The recent swell of support for the ban was always going to fade at face value if the government waited long enough, but that doesn’t mean the support isn’t still there.

Human nature dictates that we will extend our vocal efforts only so far and the government knew it could wait it out. The frenzy would abate. Then they could get back on with the business of letting Indonesia and other countries torture our animals.

I’m writing to ask that you do the decent, human thing. Cease all livestock exports.

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of animal lovers. We know full well that not many other nations abroad feel the same. Now we have proof of just how barbaric they can be.

To continue supplying them with animals to torture is akin to herding those millions of innocents across Europe into cattle carts and pushing the train down to those distant smoking buildings.

An old comparison, but unfortunately still an accurate one.

Animals may ‘merely’ be animals to some, food to be eaten, yet they feel pain and fear, and they are all too capable of suffering. If we are truly a civilised country, we should not be actively supporting their mistreatment.

In an ideal world we could educate our neighbours. But it is not an ideal world and short of invading and forcing our ideals on others (which as we’ve seen in recent years doesn’t work so well), we have no hope of making absolutely sure they will treat our animals with at least a modicum of respect in their final moments.

You now have a chance to do some good in the world.

Ban livestock export immediately and set to work ensuring that the animals in question can be (at least slightly more) humanely killed on our shores. In doing so, you will also create jobs in this country. And a lot of unnecessary suffering can be prevented.

Not many of us are ever given the opportunity to do good on such a grand scale. Please don’t waste the opportunity.

Dan Hanks