Live export – Can you think of a more unethical, foul, government sanctioned industry in Australia? I can’t.
The media have reported for years about the appalling conditions on live export ships and extreme cruelty in the destination countries. It’s usually Animals Australia’s courageous investigators who bring the atrocities to the public’s attention.
The government’s response: an investigation.
Yesterday, the ABC reported that a government employed veterinarian had been removed after she documented the conditions on life export ships:
The Federal Government removed a respected veterinarian after she presented evidence of cruelty and appalling conditions on board Australian live export ships, according to documents obtained by the ABC.
The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council has admitted they raised concerns about veterinarian Dr Simpson with the Department of Agriculture.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week who said Australia had “very, very strong animal welfare standards. We condemn cruelty to animals – full stop”. How can the Prime Minister condemn animal cruelty yet allow this horrific trade to continue?
Meanwhile, the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union Newcastle & Northern Branch today listed the flights on live export supplier Stanbroke’s private jet enjoyed by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his family:
The uncovered ‘gifts’ from suppliers are evidence of Joyce’s close relationship with Stanbroke and calls into question each and every one of his decisions on live exports.
No wonder the Minister has doubled down on his commitment to live exports after last night’s revelations that industry figures pressured the Department of Agriculture into sacking its own veterinary staff for doing their job and reporting the simple truth about animal cruelty
Also today, Barnaby Joyce announced further funding for the live export industry:
If re-elected, the Coalition would also commit $8.3 million dollars to implement the government and industry-developed Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP) for the live export industry, which has been described as an evolution of the existing Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).
ESCAS has not worked. So let’s give it a different name and continue to do more of the same? It’s just not good enough.
What sort of a democracy are we where an industry has power over government employees, where a government continues supporting an industry that disregards its own animal welfare standards and that is no longer endorsed by the public?
Australians are going to the ballot box on 2 July. Make your vote count – for the animals, for decency, for democracy.