Speech – part B
Hello fellow cabinet members, I am Gabby Gowans the Minister for Agriculture and today I will be talking about the ongoing animal crisis in the live exporting trade. It distresses and saddens me that animals have to suffer while being sold into the live exporting trade. These concerns are not only shared by me but also by the majority of Australia. Under the government live export supply chain assurance system, sheep and cattle continue to suffer inhumanly. The system is disastrous because it originally was not designed to ensure animals welfare. The welfare was hatched by the industry as a political fix just to manage the media, as the media has done so much to inform the public of the disgustingly cruel reality of live exporting trades.
The regulatory system governing animal exports is the exporter supply chain assurance system (ESCAS). The Australian meat and live – stock industry act 1997 and the export control (animals) order 2004. As states in the animal care and protection act 2001 (QLD), section 18 – animal cruelty prohibited; “a person must not be cruel to an animal. Maximum penalty – 2000 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.
What farmers went through after the ban. “one couple with four children had farmed their land in the Northern Territory for years, and eventually ended up selling the farm,” she said “another couple had recently bought into a place and had their dreams shattered. The unforeseen nature of the ban also stole hope from helicopter pilots, hay produces and many other professions which relied directly or indirectly on live cattle trade.”
In addition, offering animals to countries where there are no local laws to protect them from cruelty, will unsurprisingly results in animals being abused. The upright question that needs to be asked and answered when it comes to the millions of animals subjected to live animal export is, ‘is their suffering necessary?’ all of the countries we send live exports to, also import boxed meat from Australia, and these exports would rise if the alternative of live animals was not willingly available. It has been established that business around the industry is disgusting and cruel for the animals, as there is no humane way to ship thousands of animals across the world. The only humane way would be to ban live exporting trades and assist the industry transition in Australia to elaborate a proper meat processing and export market.
There is no requirement for animal in foreign jurisdictions to be stunned before slaughter. Recommendations that the live trade could be entirely replaced by chilled and frozen meat fails to take into account the requirements of the market. While Australia has established a significant trade in meat products, the lake of refrigeration and cold chain facilities, as well as strong cultural preferences for freshly slaughter meat precludes Australia from overhauling all of its export markets with processed meat products.