Image for Wilkie stunned by Caucus decision on live exports

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has expressed his bitter disappointment at the Labor Party’s unwillingness to mandate the stunning of Australian livestock exported overseas, and has vowed to move quickly with another Private Member’s Bill that would seek to address the situation.

“I held out hope that the Caucus would show genuine consideration for animal welfare and the overwhelming public pressure for reform, and was shocked to learn that stunning is considered an option rather than a necessity.

“I have given notice today that I will introduce a Private Member’s Bill during the next sitting of Parliament that would legislate for animal welfare safeguards for Australian stock exported overseas. This will specifically include mandatory stunning before slaughter.

“The shocking animal cruelty revealed by 4 Corners some months ago provided an historic opportunity to finally do something about Australia’s barbaric live animal export industry. We must seize the moment for the sake of the animals and out of respect for public opinion.“

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• Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/labor-fails-to-mandate-stunning.php

On Tuesday October 11, Labor was presented with a critical opportunity to spare millions of animals an agonising death by mandating that exported animals be stunned unconscious at slaughter.

Encouraged by letters, e-mails and phone calls of support from over 60,000 caring Australians, Labor MPs and Senators were under no illusions as to public expectations, and that there was no reasonable excuse not to pass the motion before caucus submitted by MP Tony Zappia.

Despite appeals from some caring Labor MPs during caucus debate, the motion was considerably weakened from ‘mandating’ stunning to ‘encouraging’ stunning — meaning that animals will continue to be exported and have their throats cut while fully conscious in foreign abattoirs.

New legislation, new hope

Unsatisfied with Labor’s disappointing position, staunch opponent of the live trade independent MP Andrew Wilkie announced his intention to submit new legislation to parliament requiring that if the live export industry is to continue for the time being, it must include animal welfare safeguards and specifically afford animals the most basic protection from un-stunned slaughter.

This new legislation comes off the back of ongoing efforts by Wilkie to legislate a total phase out of the inherently cruel live trade — a position the Tasmanian MP still upholds.

“I held out hope that the Caucus would show genuine consideration for animal welfare and the overwhelming public pressure for reform, and was shocked to learn that stunning is considered an option rather than a necessity.

“The shocking animal cruelty revealed by 4 Corners some months ago provided an historic opportunity to finally do something about Australia’s barbaric live animal export industry. We must seize the moment for the sake of the animals and out of respect for public opinion.” — Andrew Wilkie in a press release on Tuesday.

What you can do

Both the Coalition and Labor’s outdated policies to support the interests of the live export industry are clearly at odds with the interests of animals and the Australian public. Please send your MP a reminder that while caring Australians want an end to live export, the very least we should be able to expect from our elected representatives is to ensure that animals born into Australian care are spared from the horrors of fully conscious slaughter.

Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty
Phone 0420 988221
BRIDGEWATER TAS 7030
http://www.stoptac.org
http://www.liveexportshame.com
http://www.aact.org.au

• Related: AACT CALL FOR BAN ON FUR AT SALAMANCA

Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania (AACT) is calling on the Hobart City Council to ban the sale of fur products at Salamanca Market.  At least one stall is known to sell fur, the product of an inherently cruel industry.

“An AACT supporter recently held a lone, silent protest outside the offending market stall, holding a placard that depicted the abhorrent cruelty suffered by animals exploited for their fur. The stall holder, concerned about negative publicity, promptly rang the market supervisor and the brave protester was asked to move on, but not before many people congratulated her on her stance.” said Chris Simcox, spokesperson for AACT.

Whether bred and raised on fur farms or trapped in the wild, animals used for fur products suffer horrendously at the hands of the people who exploit them.  On fur farms animals are kept in tiny wire cages, and often exposed to weather extremes. They suffer terrible stress, fear, frustration and boredom and self-mutilate, gnawing the flesh from their own legs.  Killing happens by one of two horrific methods: anal electrocution followed by skinning; clubbing the animal (to subdue it), then SKINNING ALIVE. Animals skinned alive continue to suffer an unbearably agonising and slow death.

Wild-caught animals are trapped in vicious wire snares, or other similarly brutal traps. The wire tightens around their leg, stomach or neck and the more they struggle the tighter it gets. Animals caught in traps often chew off their own limbs in a desperate attempt to escape.  These animals are usually clubbed and skinned alive.

“It is totally wrong that fur products are sold at Salamanca Market. Selling fur here is saying to our interstate and international visitors that Tasmanians condone this barbaric treatment of innocent animals.  We want to see an immediate and total ban on the sale of all fur products at Salamanca Market.” said Mr Simcox.

Tasmania also has several retail shops that sell fur products and AACT will be lobbying the Federal Government for a ban on the sale and importation of all fur products. Only a total ban on fur sales will ensure that we are not supporting this incredibly cruel industry.

Pic*: AACT’s protest on Saturday at Salamanca Market