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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Food security is one of the major challenges facing the world. In the coming decade with the population expected to increase to around 10 billion, access to food particularly food that is safe and free from disease will increasingly challenge many nations.
Australians are rightly proud of the high quality food that we produce. But as the world grows flatter and we increasingly import food, the high standards that we expect in Australia come into question.
An example of this is the Australian honeybee industry, which for all intensive purposes has its back against the wall.
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