Many of you may be wondering and a few have asked “is there a Stop Live Exports Human Chain this year?” At our zenith, we saw over 1200 people on this bridge, but numbers have dwindled year by year, and if we can’t have a consistently strong show of support on the bridge, we would rather switch our tactics.
We have stood on the Stirling Bridge for 11 years, come stinging rain, chilling wind or blistering sun and we thank all those who turned up year after year to remember and pay tribute to the millions of animals who have passed over that bridge on their way to slaughter in foreign countries, and to show to the world – media, politicians, community, producers, and supporters of the trade who labelled us all tree-hugging, unemployed hippies – that those who oppose the live export trade are as varied in their lifestyles and occupations as we are in appearance: retirees, truck drivers, farmers and farmers’ daughters, lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, students, vegans and meat-eaters united in one voice that says loudly “this is too cruel and it must end”.
For the first time in our organisation’s 27-year history, we have a federal government in place that has heard that voice and is committed to ending one historically huge component of the live export trade – live sheep exports. At the live sheep trade’s 2001 peak, 6,257,120 sheep were exported live from Australia; last year, “just” 576 thousand (553 thousand by sea) – less than one-tenth, and we are on track this year to see even fewer leave these shores. Now is the time to end this cruel trade, and Labor knows it. We have decided that, as we head into this new era of hope for some farmed animals, we will slightly change our tactics.
Stop Live Exports is collaborating with over a dozen other animal protection/welfare organisations, both here and in New Zealand (where an end to all live animal exports by sea has just become law) to share resources and knowledge; to keep Labor on track, and get this done as quickly as possible – strength in numbers! And that’s where you come in – history is in the making with an end to live sheep exports within our reach, but we still have much to do even after that eventuates – for cattle, buffalo, goats, alpacas and greyhounds (and camels should that start up again). We’d love to have you all with us on the remainder of that journey.
Those 27 years that we have lobbied and campaigned and rallied and protested and educated were all made possible by the support of our members, donors, and volunteers; please help us see this through and continue our work to end to all live animal exports. Join us here. Just $10 per month (or whatever you can afford) makes all the difference.