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An Open Letter to my Local Member over live animal exports.

As sent to Simon Crean, my local member.

Dear Mr Crean

My wife and I are writing to you, as our local member, to express our outrage at the live export trade and slaughter practices in Indonesia, as aired on 4Corners on ABC1, 30/5/2011

We feel that Australia should not be condoning, either passively or actively the treatment of animals in this way.

It should be a priority of the Australian Government, not only to stop the live trade immediately, but to ensure that all live exports are banned.  Further steps need to be taken immediately to ensure that all animals in Indonesia are killed in a humane way.

The standard government response of “we are looking into this issue”, will only ensure that thousands more cattle are continuing to be slaughtered in horrific conditions. It has become obvious from the show that this activity will continue until the Government takes a stand and calls a halt to this trade. We do not stand for this treatment in our country, so why is it valid for us to export and tacitly condone this treatment overseas.

Australia has an opportunity to be a leader in pushing forward for humane treatment of animals.  Falling back on excuses of “the industry is slowly changing”, or “it is religious beliefs” only shows Australia to be paying more attention to trade and profit than to taking the moral high ground.

It is time for the Australian Government to take a stand, not to grandstand.

Yours deeply concerned


( Please feel free to copy this letter and send it to your local member )

(Note if you missed the show you can see it here on the 4Corners website )

— Update Reply Recieved 6/6/2011 —

Thank you for your email of 30th May 2011 regarding the live animal export trade.

I have sought advice from my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, about the issues you have raised.

I have been assured that the Minister and the Government have undertaken the following actions:

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have been asked to conduct an investigation into the footage shown on the ABC Four Corners program.

It has also been announced that the Government will appoint an independent reviewer to investigate the complete supply chain for live exports up to and including the point of slaughter.

The Minister has asked for a briefing on the range of legislative and regulatory options available to respond to issues concerned with animal welfare.

The Minister asked for orders to enforce the suspension of live animal exports to the facilities identified by the evidence provided by RSPCA and Animals Australia and will add further facilities to the list of banned facilities in future, if required.

Also a moratorium has been implemented on the installation of the restraint boxes, seen being used in the footage. This will apply to the instalment of any new boxes with Commonwealth funds across all global markets and the Minister has also asked the Chief Veterinary Officer to co-ordinate an independent, scientific assessment of the restraint boxes used in Indonesia.

Following the completion of these investigations, the Government will consider what further actions may be necessary.

The Government shares the legitimate concerns of the Australian community about animal welfare abuses and is taking the necessary actions to investigate this footage.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me on this important issue.

Yours sincerely