Author Topic: Brisbane protesters carried a message: No Ban, No Vote. 7.10.2012  (Read 694 times)

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Brisbane protesters carried a message: No Ban, No Vote. 7.10.2012
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 12:33:29 PM »
Live export rallies draw on left, right.

 LIKE the thousands of other people who rallied across the nation yesterday, Brisbane protesters carried  a message: No Ban, No Vote.

The nearly 300 people who came to Queensland's Parliament House for Animals Australia to protest against live animal exports were not the usual suspects.  Differences in age, disposable income, family situations and political affiliations were immediately apparent.

''I've been a Nationals voter all my life, what you'd call the Coalition now, I suppose, and I just think this, what we are doing to these animals, is wrong,'' Terry Phillips said.

''I like my steak like any other red-blooded meat eater, but I like to know how it got to my plate. And I think most Australians feel the same.''

Sharon Oats, a grandmother from Moreton Bay, felt the same.

''A lot of people think you are a bit weird, a greenie or something like that, but I'm a Liberal,'' she said.

''I'm here for the animals.  We shouldn't be allowing this.''

A Sunshine Coast yoga instructor, Pamela Mariko, said she thought most people would agree that ''live animal export is cruel and barbaric''.

''The government says they have the laws to protect the animals and clearly that is not the case,'' she said.

''There is no one to police it.  The only way to ensure it doesn't happen is to ban it.''

The Brisbane rally was one of seven organised  by Animals Australia.

The issue gained  prominence last year after a Four Corners  exposure of cruelty to live cattle exported to Indonesian slaughterhouses.

Yesterday's rallies were held in response to allegations Australian sheep were  clubbed, stabbed and buried alive in Pakistan.

The protesters were calling on the federal government to ban live exports.

The Queensland Greens senator Larissa Waters spoke at the rally and called on the government to back her party's bill to do exactly that, which was greeted by cheers from the audience.

''I think this is very much a public issue,'' Ms Waters told The Sun-Herald. ''It's one the Greens are very active on, but it's one the Australian community is driving.  We saw the massive outcry last year after the Four Corners expose that Animals Australia put into the public eye and we responded to that with a bill to ban live exports, because, unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee animal standards.

''You can have all the standards in the world, but there is no one on the ground making sure they are being complied with and there is an awful lot we are not seeing, so the safest and most humane way is to simply ban that live trade.''

Ms Waters said that, while she understood sections of the community were conscious of the economic impact a loss of the live animal export trade would wreak, she believed there were alternatives.

''I think we can have as much profitability and more onshore jobs if we move away from the live export trade to onshore processing and reopening some of the abattoirs we have seen closed in recent years,'' she said.

''That way we can actually make sure that our standards are being complied with and our animals are being treated with the dignity all Australians want.''

Waving banners emblazoned with messages including ''Come on Julia, don't be a chicken'' and ''Stop the animal holocaust'', the Sydney protesters joined the call.

Speaking at the Martin Place event, Clare Mann from Animals Australia recalled how so many of the protesters had stood at the same place just over a year ago, following the Four Corners program showing cattle being mistreated in Indonesia.

''Our heads were bowed in despair, grief, pain and disbelief of what we saw,'' Ms Mann told the crowd. ''Disbelief that somehow we had lost something very important in our societal values.''

She said they had gathered again following footage showing Australian sheep being inhumanely slaughtered in Pakistan.

The federal government backbencher Kelvin Thomson called on colleagues to ban live animal exports while addressing a rain-drenched rally of about 1000  in Melbourne.

''No ban, no vote, get animals off the boat,'' the crowd chanted.

The Pakistan allegations triggered renewed calls for the dumping of the live animal export trade.

Mr Thomson said there should be no further shipments to Bahrain or Pakistan until further notice and called for  the mandatory stunning of animals before slaughter.

October 7, 2012

Amy Remeikis
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« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 12:35:37 PM by WA Export News »