Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Live Corp, excusing animal cruelty

I am not particularly happy at being a meat eater. I do enjoy meat and I try not think about how it got to my plate. Having grown up on a farm, I have a pretty good idea of what happens to animals before they hit your plate. I am right ostrich, am I.

Almost without exception I think, in Australia cattle is slaughtered humanely. Yet the dice for our cattle rolls, and they may get sent to Indonesia, where they are not slaughtered humanely. Worse, they apparently are severely mistreated before they are slaughtered in a cruel manner.

I am sure there is a transcript from the 4 Corners programme about the slaughter of our cattle in Indonesia. You can watch on Iview if you are here in Australia. I am not going to watch. I have heard enough and I am not putting myself through the visuals.

Saturday evening we dined with someone who used to be a person of influence within the Meat and Livestock Corporation. I mentioned to him that the proverbial would hit the fan this Monday when 4 Corners was aired. It has already, he replied. Then he mentioned that 4 Corners were always having a go at the live meat export trade. Thank goodness someone does.

The spinning had started well before the show went to air and continues post the programme.

The figures are vague, but we have been live cattle exporting to Indonesia for between twenty and thirty years. If we have been involved, then that is twenty to thirty years of extreme animal cruelty and still it goes on. As late as January this year Live Corp released a report with the preposterous statement that in Indonesia, generally animal welfare is good.

I can't find it at their website, but I suppose you would call it a mission statement that pops up when you google LiveCorp.

"World leader livecorp provides live exports of livestock including sheep and cattle, focused on animal welfare."

And who really believes LiveCorp that this was an isolated incident? They are now going to audit all Indonesian abattoirs where our cattle are sent over the next two months. Big deal. Like they will find anything with such advance notice.

This is all an absolute joke. Animal cruelty is disgusting and a disgrace. I don't want to be part of Australia if it is to be involved and ultimately responsible for such cruelty. Sadly I am. It is my responsibility and yours if you are Australian.


Later Edit: Winsome has pointed out that Get Up have a petition to present to our Prime Minister. I hadn't checked my email when I wrote this, and sure enough, there was an email from Get Up. Here is a link to sign the petition. The site is slow as obviously many are signing.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly Andrew. Getup Australia have organised a petition that will be presented to Julia Gillard at a press conference tomorrow. For what it's worth, I've signed this morning.

  2. Thanks Winsome. Just signed and edited the post to note the petition.

  3. I've done the petition signing. I'm an unapologetic meat eater (if'n you've spent your young days on a farm and hopped onya bike down to the school bus stop at 6.30 a.m. with your belly full of assorted offal it tends to be part of yer DNA) but there is a line that ought not and can't be crossed.

    I likewise have signed the petition to stop the live export of tofu. Nobody should have to eat that stuff no matter in what manner it is slaughtered. (Agedashi tofu is my exception.)

  4. We differ then LS. I am apologetic meat eater. I too grew up on a farm but I always found offal awful. You being a fine diner, and me not, I had to google Agedashi tofu. Ah yeah, that is the only kind of tofu I like too. Deep fried.

  5. I am very thankful to Four Corners. I've been hearing about this live transport thing for months now; but somehow Four Corners got the government and population to finally take huge notice of the situation.

    Hopefully something will be done to change all of it.

    In America, we have a lot of mistreated animals on factory farms. But I think the general population remains blissfully unaware.

    I guess it takes something huge for people to take notice and make changes.

  6. Dina, while Four Corners ran with the story, and credit to them, real credit should those who got in there with cameras etc and got the footage. There is a place in heaven for animal activists. They have slogged away chicken battery farms for years, with some success, and also puppy farms. At least in the North America, there are people who care. There are very few in Indonesia.

  7. Anonymous11:10 pm

    If you want to see what's happening in the factory farms of the States, watch 'Food Inc.'. V.

  8. Anonymous12:06 am

    I've just watched the Four Corners report. It's disgusting this is allowed to continue. V.

  9. This isn’t a religious matter, it’s cultural. Outside of western, indeed let’s be honest Anglo-Saxon, cultures animal welfare simply isn’t a big concern, people welfare isn’t a particularly high priority either if it comes to that.

    What’s so stupid about the abbatoir situation is that it’s actually easier, more efficient and safer to kill the beasts humanely and properly with a sharp blade than all that faffing around at huge risk of injury to the animal and the slaughterman.

    Then again just watch Indonesians working on a building site or any other semi-skilled workplace and you quickly realise that concepts like health and safety, efficiency and proper practice aren’t considered particularly relevant to people’s jobs.

  10. Pleased you could watch it V. Well, had the opportunity. I don't need to preach to the converted. I really struggle to watch programmes about animal cruelty, but good to give Food Inc a mention.

    Louise, I can't disagree with anything you have said. Dying from blood loss is not particularly unpleasant. Preferable though to have them slaughtered here. The footage seen rather puts pay to 'we don't trust you to do halal'. Overseas animal activists deserve our support.

  11. Anonymous8:47 pm

    Hi Andrew, I am not really anonymous it was just easier to reply to this blog. Our family acutally watched this in horror. I guess because we owe it to these poor beautiful creatures and it has made our blood boil to stop live exports. Weve signed petitions and donated money for the RSPCA to put an add on TV( you can do this online at GETUP sight.)
    I have a degree in Indonesian language and culture & have travelled there extensively and seen how they mistreat all animals in general, whether it be neglect or abject cruelty to monkeys, dogs etc. I am also a nurse working in a psych unit and I read a story in Sydney Morning Herald June 19-20, 2010 on how the Indonesians treat their psych patients. They chain them up in the nude in the open with only a trough to shit and pee in. Sorry about the language.Psych teams here have been travelling there and trying to "educate" them on how to be humane to their own people with little success so far... so where does that leave livecorps so called "education" on how to treat animals. Largely the people employed in these slaughter houses are ignorant and have no feeling whatsoever for animals. I have also lost respect for their religion which is archaic and outdated... halal may have worked a thousand years ago on a few goats and sheep, but its plain to see you cant handle a large brahmin steer the way you can a sheep or a goat... and the animal suffers... far as im concerned halal = barbaric cruelty. For the record our family already enjoyed vegetarian food ( which goes way beyond tofu)but we have not touched meat since this program except for the odd prawn or two. We should all fight hard to stop animal exports as the cruelty starts the moment they leave our shores with awful deaths and broken limbs aboard the ships...BAN LIVE EXPORTS...Jen

  12. Thanks Jen. Problems because of the size of the animal to be slaughtered using halal never occurred to me. Good to hear that live animal export was never really seriously considered by NZ.

  13. "halal may have worked a thousand years ago on a few goats and sheep, but its plain to see you cant handle a large brahmin steer the way you can a sheep or a goat"

    I agree and also, Halal is inappropriate for industrial slaughter. Halal slaughter is supposed to be an expression of respect for the animal, its death and its creator. To not just slaughter animals mindlessly like in a massacre but to stop and think, be conscious of the kill and reminded of the significance of taking a life. At least that's how I think it was originally meant.

    Applied on an industrial scale, and particularly in the hands of morons, it drives contempt for the animals, meaningless violence and systemic cruelty.

    Live export to countries who require or allow Halal slaughter without stunning should be illegal. Period.

  14. Thanks Anna. Yes, period.