There was movement at the station for the word had got around that the Feds might have finally gotten something right for a change.
Late yesterday, news filtered through that Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and a bunch of other stuff, had put the kybosh on Victorian premier Ted Baillieu’s absurd, cynical and dangerous plan to reintroduce grazing to the High Country. Good.
Minister Burke rejected a proposal by the Victorian government to allow cattle into the Alpine National Park for five months a year, arguing it was in breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. He’s right, too. Parks Victoria is just one reputable body which has produced scientific evidence showing that grazing is detrimental to the High Country.
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Please allow me to reply to Geoff Russell’s specific claims about Kosher slaughter in “You won’t be stunned to hear that slaughter is brutal”.
He says, “There is no shortage of scientific proof that religious (Halal or Kosher) slaughter involves more suffering than proper stunning.”
Actually, Geoff, in the case of Kosher slaughter there is NO such proof. On the contrary, there is strong scientific evidence that Kosher killing is humane and does not cause the animal distress or undue pain.
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When Prime Minister Gillard defended the resumption of live exports to Indonesia, she was questioned by Greens MP Adam Bandt in Parliament about the use of stunning.
Bandt preceded his question with a claim: “In Australia, animals cannot be slaughtered unless they are stunned first because it is the humane thing to do.”
Gillard replied that [stunning] is widely used by not compulsory.
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According to Bob Katter on ABC’s Q&A last Monday night, stopping the live export of cattle to Indonesia would add three million people to the 80 million Indonesians who currently go to bed hungry. According to Katter, stopping the trade was cutting off the protein food supply to three million people. Nobody disputed this.
Katter blamed Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) for not fixing the cruelty problem. He asserted that the cattle producers who had phoned and abused him didn’t know their animals were being treated this way.
It’s a pity we don’t have the equivalent of a driving test for politicians. Something to verify that they have basic numeracy skills before they can stand for Parliament. I’m not too concerned about literasy, what harm duz a few misspelled wurds do anyway? But get the numbers wrong and all kinds of stupid decisions are made.
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After a maelstrom of mainstream media coverage and social media activism, the federal government has temporarily suspended the export of live cattle to Indonesia. The move follows the ABC’s documentary program Four Corners’ recent exposé of the live export trade in which shocking video footage obtained by Lyn White, director of Animals Australia, revealed cows being tortured to death in a slow and agonising manner.
The distressing images, which depicted barbaric practices that included whipping the cattle, gouging their eyes and slashing their tendons, raised the ire of so many people across the country that Animals Australia’s website collapsed from the sheer volume of traffic on the night the program screened.
Social media networks Facebook and Twitter quickly became campaign tools utilised by meat-eaters and vegans alike who united in protesting the horrendous cruelty inflicted on Australian cattle: within a week, more than 200,000 people had signed lobby group GetUp’s petition calling on the Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig to ban the export of live cattle to Indonesia and phase out the live export trade all together within three years, and independent MPs and the Greens introduced private members bills to ban all live exports to the country.
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I’m in a chopper flying low over the cattle yards of one of the biggest live exporters in the country. This cattle station is almost the size of a small European country. We’ve spent the day constructing new cattle yards about an hour’s dusty drive from the homestead - in one of the ‘near paddocks’.
It’s a long way from somewhere in the Top End, Northern Territory. The cattle here are tough. Brahman cross shorthorn. Their sweet faces and floppy ears belie their true grit; surviving on red-brown grass in 45 degree heat and semi-wild conditions.
These are the same breed of cattle shown in the vision aired on Four Corners on Monday night. Intelligent beasts being flayed and tortured - sickening images. Now we’ve all been whipped into a frenzy over it. We want to lash out. Like an animal running blindly with emotion we are bound to trip over. Banning the live meat exports to Indonesia makes as much sense as Chicago’s Prohibition laws: good intentions but disastrous results.
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Clover Moo here, reporting from the shady corner of the paddock. It’s been tough times for us cows. Yep, a real cattle dog of a week.
As if this year hasn’t been distressing enough with the supermarkets flogging my precious milk for $1 a litre, along come these revelations of brutality at Indonesian slaughterhouses.
I’ve known about this for years, of course. The rumours have been on the bovine grapevine for ages. Now the rumours are confirmed. We are being slaughtered like…like… like animals!
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It’s hard to know what the live animal export industry is more concerned about.
The fact that Australian animals are being tortured in Indonesia, or the fact that Australians now know that Australian animals are being tortured in Indonesia.
I have long been opposed to the live animal export industry.
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The recent revelation that new Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery has a contract with Meat and Livestock Australia shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who read his 2008 Quarterly Essay Now or Never: A sustainable future for Australia.
But I think both the relationship and the essay demonstrate that Flannery is not the right person for the job.
Flannery’s advocacy in Now or Never of abundant meat as the answer to global food problems is like suggesting private jets to solve transportation problems.
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