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Bill to ban live exports to fail

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  • Lena Dimopoulos Saturday, 13 October 2012

    I am contacting you with the hope that you are a person in parliament who can put aside issues of political expediency, and are able to think ethically about our Australian way of life.

    I would like to raise my concerns and horror and the continuing abuse and suffering non-human animals endure under the live export business. I initially raised my concerns with the Minister for Agriculture, after seeing the traumatic footage of slaughter houses in Indonesia, aired by the ABC over a year ago. Many of our political leaders seem to be burying their heads in the sand about this issue and buckling to the pressure of interest groups, without standing up for what is right. Our Prime Minister recently stood up for her rights as a woman, roundly castigating misogyny and sexism in Parliament, and stated she is against “isms” , but no one seems to be too concerned about the rampant prejudice and discrimination we show toward the rights of other living creatures. These non-human animals display similar responses to pain and mistreatment as humans do, and this has been evidenced in scientific studies for decades.

    The live export business is one of the cruellest forms of prolonged abuse for non- human animals, humans can perpetrate. These are living beings that feel as much pain and terror as humans would, if they were put into similar situations. If we are supposedly higher on the evolutionary scale, as most people believe, why are we condoning the abuse of non-human animals, when we claim to be cognizant of the consequences of our actions, and to have moral principles that lead to ethical behaviour, thus distinguishing us from "lower forms" of animals? I have witnessed the slaughter of farmed animals, spending my adolescent years in a rural area with a father who was a butcher, and I can assure you it is a horrifying, cruel and highly disturbing sight . These are non-human animals that we have a responsibility to care for, since we are supposed to be their guardians (even agreed upon by some Christian groups like the Catholic & Anglican churches) - they cannot speak on their own behalf, or argue for their rights to live a cruelty / abuse-free life. Farmers and exporters claim they care about the welfare of these non-human animals, and that the conditions on the trip meet all appropriate standards. It is beyond my comprehension how being tightly packed , standing in their own excrement for up to 60 days, suffering heat / cold, dehydration and exposure to high risk of disease, can be considered an appropriate and humane standard of care. I am sure the farmers and exporters would not want their children or family members to be transported on an overseas trip under such conditions? The argument that they are “just animals” and therefore have no “rights”, or they are “bred to be killed”, are inane – such statements are made by people who function only at a level of self-interest.

    As a nation we cannot have full control over how these animals are killed when they leave our shores and arrive at their destination. I have witnessed halal-type killings first hand. The terror the animal displays & the struggle they put up would be abhorrent to any human who is capable of feeling empathy for a suffering fellow creature . Please do not stand back and allow this practice to continue; do not conontinue to legally sanction systemic abuse of these beings, and do what you can to stop others in Parliament turn a blind eye to their suffering.

    Kind Regards

    Lena

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