Author Topic: Animal Justice Party pledges to shut down live exports with industry campaign  (Read 4042 times)

WA Export News

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AN aspiring political group has pledged to close down Australian live cattle exports with a campaign targeting wool-using companies.

The Animal Justice Party has begun lobbying more than 60 companies, primarily clothing manufacturers, to refuse wool from "any wool grower or industry which sells their 'spent' wool sheep, directly or indirectly, to the live export trade".

Live sheep wethers waiting to be loaded onto export ship Mukairisk Al Sades. height=366 Live sheep wethers waiting to be loaded onto export ship Mukairisk Al Sades. Source: News Limited

The world's biggest livestock carrier, The Ocean Shearer, in Fremantle. Picture:KERRIS BERRINGTON height=488 The world’s biggest livestock carrier, The Ocean Shearer, in Fremantle. Picture:KERRIS BERRINGTON Source: News Limited

The campaign is a copy of a stand taken against the controversial practice of "mulesing" - where strips of skin are removed from around the buttocks of a sheep to prevent flystrike - which gathered worldwide attention and resulted in widespread boycotts of Australian wool.

"Live export is much more horrific than mulesing," Animal Justice Party Vice President Mark Pearson said. "These manufacturers don't want blood on their labels - they don't want images of live exports being associated with their stores around the world."

"This action will cripple the live export industry and shut it down."
Mr Pearson said he believed the campaign would quickly cause the wool industry to put pressure on the government and live export industries would switch to exporting carcasses instead of live meat.

"It will be all over by morning tea," he said. "The whole industry will switch to a major chilled carcass trade and abattoirs will open up in Australia to service that."

"Local workers will be needed to staff those abattoirs which makes this a win-win situation for jobs."

Ship carrying live sheep heads out to sea. height=488 Ship carrying live sheep heads out to sea. Source: News Limited

The calls come after a Nielsen poll commissioned by the World Society for the Protection of Animals found that almost 70 per cent of voters would support a candidate who promised to bam live sheep and cattle exports.

The campaign has been lent support by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who descibed mulesing as a "barbaric mutilation" and said many retailers were "equally appalled by live export".

"We have informed them of the cruelties involved in the live export trade," PETA campaign coordinator Claire Fryer said. "(And) we've been told confidentially by some that this practice has been a factor in their decisions to shun Australian wool."

"Many sheep sent off by live export are the used and unwanted sheep from wool farmers, so live export subsidises the wool industry."

Australia is one of the world's leading suppliers of live cattle, sheep and goats, particularly throughout South-East Asia and the Middle East.

Live sheep for export. height=488 Live sheep for export. Source: Supplied

The industry contributes about $1 billion worth of export earnings to the economy and employs around 10,000 people, including significant indigenous employment.

Chairman of the Australian Livestock Exporter's Council (ALEC) Peter Kane said that while he was not familiar with the campaign there were "a lot of misconceptions" about the live export industry.

"We undertake our trade with animal welfare front and centre," Mr Kane said. "It's of extreme concern for us."

"And that's not just a matter of emotion and feeling it's good business as well.

"When things do go wrong we're incredibly upset by that."

In addition Mr Kane said changes to regulations around live exports had seen Australia make significant efforts to ensure cattle were humanely treated overseas.

"We are the only country that exports cattle overseas and also puts an investment into ensuring animal welfare in the market," he said. "In the last two years 3000 staff in Indonesia have been trained up by us."

"Previously our formal responsibility ended when the cattle were delivered to a foreign buyer but under the new systemexporters are obliged to do additional things offshore.

"There is a really serious desire as an industry to get this right."

A statement from WoolProducers Australia said that animal welfare was a key priority for Australian farmers.

"Australian sheep are raised under some of the most stringent welfare standards in the world," CEO Jane Brownbill said. "As a result, Australia produces some of the world's best quality wool that's in demand all over
the world."

"Every wool grower in Australia operates and is accountable to their specific state and territory animal welfare legislation and related code of practice."
September 04, 2013

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« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 08:58:46 PM by WA Export News »