LAST Thursday was an extremely sad day for Australian farm animals.
Despite repeated pleas by the RSPCA, Animals Australia and thousands of concerned Australians, Julia Gillard refused to allow a conscience vote on the bills calling for an an end to live export. Consequently, it was unsurprising that the majority of politicians were reluctant to go against their party’s policy and incur expulsion by supporting the bills.
What this now means is that millions of Australian animals will continue to be shipped half-way around the world and abandoned in countries where no aimal welfare laws exist and where they will have their throats slashed while fully conscious.
It means millions of Australian animals will continue to be exported to countries where they may have their eyes gouged or stabbed, their tendons slashed, be trussed with wire, be crushed into car boots in 40-degree plus temperatures and be tied to the roof racks of cars.
It means Australian cattle will continue to be sent to countries where the method of killing entails deliberately tripping them so that they smash their heads on the concrete floor before being tightly trussed and having their throats sawn open.
And all of this, after being subjected to a gruelling and frightening sea voyage that many fail to survive.
“The labour government has not listened to the people of Australia who want to stop this disgusting trade. It is an insult to the tens of thousands of caring people the length and breadth of this country that the government ignored their plead for cruelty to come to an end. Years of animal abuse could have been stop but the government doesn’t care about animal welfare. Years of exporting livestock to countries where these poor creatures are tortured should have been stopped a long time ago. “
Just this week, a ship containing 67,000 sheep, bound for Qatar, was forced to return to Adelaide due to a mechanical fault. More than 200 of the sheep which boarded the vessel only nine days earlier have already died.
One of Australia’s newest export markets is Turkey, with 215,000 sheep and 65,000 cattle sent there last year.
An investigation undertaken by Animals Australia a few weeks ago has revealed that this country, like all other importing countries, likewise subjects animals to horrific and unacceptable cruelty.
The footage taken by investigators showed terrified sheep and cattle being shackled by a rear leg and hoisted into the air - thrashing all the while - before having their throats slashed.
The failure of Australian politicians to vote against the live export trade also means that our animals will continue to be barbarically sacrificed during the Muslim Eid el Adhar - Festival of Sacrifice - which takes place in early December each year.
During this festival, thousands of imported Australian animals are purchased by individuals for private sacrifice. They are killed in homes or on footpaths, often by inexperienced slaughterers, and the streets literally run red with blood as they are gruesomely butchered in full view of one another.
Even those animals taken to abattoirs are not guaranteed a kinder fate. Lines of cars with animals in their boots may extend for two kilometres or more. What terror these animals would endure, tightly trussed inside hot and suffocating car boots.
There can be no excuse ever for subjecting creatures with the same capacity for suffering as ourselves to this unspeakable cruelty.
Our Government has shamefully chosen to ignore their plight but caring Australians cannot and will not.
As Wilbur Wilberforce famously said: “You may choose to look the other away but you can never again say you did not know.”