People wonder why Live animal export producers are so angry at the ABC Four Corners program ‘A Bloody Business’, produced by Sarah Ferguson and aired May 2011. It was the collaboration of this program with Animals Australia (AA), Lyn White and RSPCA that pressured Joe Ludwig, Agricultural Minister to place a temporary ban on all live animal exports to Indonesia for one month in June 2011. AA produced footage that showed traditional slaughter methods used in Indonesia, those same slaughter methods were being used on Australian cattle. This was unacceptable by our standards in Australia of animal welfare. The program failed to illustrate that some supply chains in Indonesia at the time already used high standards of animal welfare and that some of the footage AA produced was from abattoirs that weren’t even Australian cattle they hadn’t received Australian cattle for a number of years. Of the “15 and a half minutes of footage from inside Indonesia abattoirs, but only 35 seconds of that footage showed abattoirs that used stunning”(Source – Beefcentral. ‘Four Corners grilled by Senate Inquiry’. 15.09.11.)
Groups such as RSPCA, though on boards to assist in improving Live animal export, have policies to ‘Ban Live export’, they have had this policy for many years. Their affiliation with AA has caused them to loose substantial credibility of real animal welfare outcomes.
Animals Australia in footage they obtained in February 2012, again in Indonesia was reported by DAFF as having produced an RFID eartag. This tag was proven by ESCAS to have not even been on a live animal when the footage was taken of so called mistreatment of that animal, ESCAS traceability proved that the animal had been slaughtered some weeks before. No wonder AA don’t like ESCAS, it caught them out.
Then we have the Greens political party, with Bills before parliament, originally sponsored by Nick Xehophon in June 2011, then latter Lee Rhiannon, March 2012. Their understanding of the impact of a ban on live export on animal welfare in Australia is so pathetic that Lee Rhiannon didn’t even attempt to answer the questions I placed on her ‘Ban Live Exports Now’ page. See Live Export. Questions to Greens – November 2012.
Now we have 4 Corners doing another program on Live export, an expose they say. Yet no credit given to any improvments of animal welfare over all the years in any aspect of the supply chains and slaughter processes, they won’t even speak to the nominated representatives of the industry. A balanced view point from Four Corners, I think not.