Call to ban live exports

THERE is no denying that those pictures on Four Corners were horrendous, but as someone who has travelled extensively throughout Asia, I must admit I was not all that surprised.

In countries where home refrigeration is not common, livestock is routinely slaughtered in the early hours of the morning and close to the markets where the fresh cuts of meat are sold.

You don’t have to go far from cities like Ho Chi Mihn, Jakarta or Melaka to find poultry, pigs and sometimes cattle, cats and dogs being killed and dressed in back alleys.

There can, however, be no defence of the callous barbarism of Indonesian abattoir workers captured on tape by Animals Australia activists.

But as upset as I am by the images, as a cattle breeder and meat eater I am angry that this has all seemingly happened under the noses of the body I fund through compulsory levies every time I sell an animal, Meat and Livestock Australia.

MLA might have driven the live export industry to be worth more than $300 million a year, but it appears it has dropped the ball when it comes to ensuring animals shipped to Asia are not treated cruelly or killed inhumanely.

The MLA deserves a right whoppin’ for its oversight which now blights the whole industry.

Advocate cattle industry columnist Elizer Robinson said he had only recently visited the kill floors of a number of Australian abattoirs and so was stunned by what he saw on Four Corners.

“In our meatworks the slaughtering process is very quick, very quiet and as humane as possible,” Robbo said.

“But those pictures on Four Corners were absolutely shocking. If that is how Australian cattle are treated overseas then I support a total ban on all live exports.

Robbo said he would much rather see the development of new abattoirs here to cater for the growing Asian demand for meat protein.

“I’ve always thought we should do the value adding and send boxed meat overseas. Any job losses due to banning live exports would be countered by new jobs in abattoirs.”

“But what upsets me most is that the levies paid by all beef producers have not been used by the MLA to outlaw these barbaric practices, and for that the MLA should be sacked.”