Horrific live export footage demands immediate action: Voiceless

| June 22, 2016

Recent footage of the horrific abuse of exported Australian animals have again shown that the live export industry isn’t working. The animal protection institute Voiceless is calling on the Prime Minister to act now.

Over recent days, the Australian public once again witnessed horrific cruelty as a result of the live export trade on ABC’s 7.30.

An investigation in Vietnam by animal protection group Animals Australia exposed Australian animals being sledgehammered to death on a nightly basis in an abattoir in Hanoi.

Their investigation also revealed Australian animals in non-approved slaughterhouses outside of the industry’s regulatory system (known as ESCAS) and animals being incorrectly stunned (in both approved and non-approved abattoirs) with Australian supplied captive bolt devices. Shockingly, the butchering process commenced whilst these animals were still alive.

Once again the Australian public is being asked to have faith in the live export industry and trust that the regulatory system is working. But what has been made abundantly clear is that we simply cannot.

The live export industry first admitted awareness of Australian animals being sledgehammered to death in Vietnam back in June 2013. Since that time, there have been numerous breaches.

According to Animals Australia, in the last two years, over half a million Australian cattle have been exported to Vietnam. In 2016, 20 to 30 thousand are being exported to Vietnam each month.

This trade is being accelerated into new markets at an alarming rate by its cheerleaders in government.

The fact is, the Department of Agriculture is conflicted in its role of policing and promoting the live export trade and has proven time and time again to be woefully ineffective in safeguarding the welfare of exported Australian animals.

Despite recurring live export breaches in multiple countries, not one exporter has had its licence suspended or been prosecuted. This inaction has resulted in the abuse of exported animals to continue unabated.

Given that the Federal Election is just around the corner, now is the time to seek a commitment from our political leaders to take a stand against live export.

As such, Voiceless is calling on the Prime Minister to take immediate action to prevent further animals from experiencing such horrific cruelty and abuse. It’s time to bring an end to this trade, or at the very least, to suspend all exports to Vietnam pending a thorough and independent investigation of these systemic failings.

We are also asking concerned Australians to use our form to send an email to the leaders of the major political parties telling them how important animal welfare issues, such as live export, are this Election Day.

To quote Voiceless Patron and former High Court Justice, the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG:

“The paramount consideration must now be the ethical one. The live export trade as currently carried out is indefensible. It must stop.”

Elise Burgess

Elise Burgess is Head of Communications at Voiceless, the animal protection institute. Prior to joining Voiceless, Elise worked as a journalist and editor of financial industry publications for six years within Australia’s financial management sector. With a strong professional background in media, Elise joined Voiceless to fulfil a lifelong passion for animal protection. Elise graduated from Avondale College in 2006 with a degree in Communications with experience in both broadcast and print media.